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on the finalization of the formation of the Inclusive Government
National Students Union (ZINASU)
February 17, 2009
The Zimbabwe National
Students Union, representing the students of Zimbabwe, notes the
developments leading to the finalization of the formation of the
Inclusive government. We hold that this inclusive government can
only be considered as a transitional government. We emphasize that
its role is to, in the interim, ensure that people's lives are improved,
the humanitarian crisis is addressed and that a new people driven
democratic constitution is in place and fresh elections are held
Mindful of the situation
at hand and the urgent need to transform society and the education
system, we therefore demand an urgent attention on the following
concerns regarding education by the transitional government;
Freedoms and institutional autonomy
and the autonomy of institutions of higher learning are very fundamental
notions the previous governments of Zimbabwe have not been respecting.
Student leaders and activists have been victimized only for committing
the crime of exercising and demanding their academic freedoms; they
have been suspended and expelled from colleges on very frivolous
and vexatious allegations. In this new dispensation, we call upon
the transitional government to, as a matter of urgency; unreservedly
reinstate all suspended and expelled students back to their respective
Further, academic freedoms
and freedoms to associate assemble and expression at campuses must
be restored and guaranteed to all students at tertiary institutions.
In line with the transitional
agenda of democratizing the country and reforming of key national
institutions, we demand the same in our institutions of higher learning.
To effect this and to give autonomy to our Universities, the current
arrangement in which the President of the republic is automatically
the chancellor of all state universities must be looked into and
abolished. It is our conviction that such an arrangement is inappropriate
and is a negation to and attack on democracy. Therefore we recommend
that university councils and college boards be given the responsibility
and authority to elect or appoint their respective chancellors or
Ordinances, the University of Zimbabwe Act and other repressive
The use and
abuse of the University Ordinances, the University Acts and other
repressive instruments by Authorities to oppress students must be
stopped forthwith. These instruments have been abused by most colleges
to victimize students who have been viewed as enemies of the state.
We therefore call upon the transitional government and our legislators
to repeal all notorious university ordinance clauses and other repressive
swiftly becoming a preserve for the elite. Tuition fees gazetted
for academic year 2009 are out of reach to the majority of students.
The new policy framework in which the state is transferring the
responsibility and burden of funding education from the government
to the parents is unacceptable and puts the country at a risk of
taking away any gains made since 1980. Our conviction is that it
is the responsibility of the state to educate its citizens. The
neo-liberal policies reflected in the policy pronouncements made
during the 2009 budget presentation must be abandoned forthwith.
The transitional government must focus on addressing the plight
of the suffering people; and not exacerbate the suffering. If the
budget announced is anything to go by, the future of the ordinary
poor man who happens to be the parent of the student will be in
jeopardy and shrouded in uncertainty, hence making the future of
the student and indeed that of the country uncertain.
2008 is by any
point of imagination a wasted year. Clearly no effort has been taken
to address the crisis that rocked our education sector in 2009.
if there was any it is very negligible. We therefore wish to put
to the attention of the transitional government our grave concerns
regarding the lack of prioritization of education in the country.
Any future inconvenience to the students must be avoided.
ZINASU believes our problems
are a result of a flawed constitution and therefore the constitutional
reform process must be undertaken transparently with the people
of Zimbabwe driving the process. We believe the right to education
must entrenched in a new people driven constitution.
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