Firebrand student union wants govt to preempt college fee hike plans

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By Leopold Munhende

NEWLY elected Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) president Takudzwa Ngadziore has written to Higher and Tertiary Minister Amon Murwira demanding clarity on whether government had plans to increase tuition fees in its various colleges.

This follows weeks of speculation that there was going to be massive increases on fees at state owned universities and its other training institutions.

“We have notified the Minister through a letter of engagement pertaining the struggles that we are facing as students.

“We have also sought that he comes clean to students, parents and guardians about the hikes. Are they coming or not because as it stands, the fees committees that are seated have not aired anything yet,” said Ngadziore.

“We are against hikes that are contrary to salaries that our parents are getting, if the fees are going to be hiked at an interbank rate then our parents’ salaries should be hiked at the same interbank rate.”

An ordinary civil servant earns around $1 000 at a time unconfirmed fees structures for upcoming semesters are ranging between $8 000 and $15 000.

A fee hike, if approved by authorities, will be testament to high inflation that has characterised the country’s second most severe economic crisis in a decade.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa however told his supporters in Kuwadzana last week that his government was not going to give any green light to schools to hike their fees.

But government’s decision not to approve the hike may see its already demotivated lecturers engaging in industrial action as they are paid fees proportionate to what is being paid by students.

Already primary and secondary teachers have indicated they will not be reporting for work when schools open next week if government did not review their wages.