University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Student Representative Council (SRC) leaders have condemned the recent fees hike announced by the institution saying the decision was made without their input.
The University of Zimbabwe administration recently announced a fees hike of more than 600 percent prompting protests which saw the arrest of 21 students at the campus.
Speaking during a press briefing, UZ SRC president Allan Chipoyi said the increase has no logic considering what most parents are earning.
“This increase in university fees is absurd given that the majority of our parents barely have the means to pay for our university education. Most of them are civil servants who are earning peanuts every month. Some of them work in the informal sector earning even lesser given the harsh economic conditions prevailing in the country. Our parents simply do not have the means to pay for this unimaginable fees.
“What is even more shocking is the fact that the fees even increased in UD terms and with no valid argument supporting the move. I would like to confirm as the president of the SRC that we never agreed to this proposal to hike fees. Our position as the SRC is clear nothing for the students without the students. Nothing should be decided for the students without the students being involved in decision making process,” said Chipoyi.
He accused the UZ administration of playing hide and seek when deciding student fees and demanded a swift reduction in the new fees structure.
“We want to see a swift move by the University of Zimbabwe administration to denounce the new fees structure with immediate effect. We want the administration to open up a platform for dialogue with the SRC representing the biggest stakeholders at the University, the students, so that the fees and its structure be revised to come up with affordable tuition fees for the students. In this regard we are proposing an amount below 200 000 Zimbabwean dollars to be precise.
“We would also want to see central government coming in and subsidize our education so that it can be cheap to get a degree in Zimbabwe. We do understand the current economic disaster, but section 75 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe clearly guarantees basic state funded education and ZWL 200 000 is way too much and a violation to our right to education. In the future we want to see the central government providing students with free education,” he said.
Chipoyi said they will soon be submitting a petition to Parliament compelling other line ministries to intervene and stop disaster.
Meanwhile, 16 UZ students are detained at Avondale Police Station after they were arrested yesterday for protesting the hiking of tuition fees by the institution.