So last week Thursday there were some skirmishes at Masvingo’s Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) which even resulted in the police firing teargas and canisters to disperse the protesting students.
There was an interplay of an array of factors which culminated in the violent clashes. You can imagine how a defiant police force will be dealing with a lot of enraged students who genuinely feel mistreated and not cared for. You can just imagine.
There are two sections of GZU, the one in Mashava (school of commerce) and the one main one in Masvingo. The strike started mainly at the Mashava campus because well, it was easy for them to mobilize one, considering how the facilities in Masvingo are really not blended into one entity.
We could pretty much say that the root cause was poor university facilities. Which is why we do not fathom that fully grown-up varsity authorities allow their students to wallow in poor conditions and standards without giving a damn until there is protest of some sort.
Students demonstrated against poor wifi, poor bus timetable, lack of clean water, fees increment, poor dining hall food, poor furniture and boards.
But maybe we could touch on the issue of fees increment. A proposed $50 increment is on the table. And to say what they will do with that when they fail the basics is pretty much out of comprehension, to say the least.
Speaking to a student at the university named Takudzwa Chaparadza, he expressed his incredulity towards this. “Their services are sub-standard,” he said.
And well there was that heavy-handedness from the police. Who taught them that brutality will put things to a halt? Well we all know what this system is capable of! The intention was a peaceful demo, but to throw teargas at students who are just yearning for better conditions? Eish.
After we had done one on the strike at Harare Institute of Technology we thought well, what is now happening with Zim varsities?
But the truth is that students just need better conditions. That’s all. There are a lot of issues to be worried with in Zimbabwe. And it affects everyone. However, students must be treated in good ways. Chete.