Students form union to rival Zinasu, Zicosu

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A NEW students’ union, the Zimbabwe International Students’ Alliance (Zisa), has been formed with its leaders pledging to stay away from the country’s polarised politics.

By Tafadzwa Kachiko

The union’s membership will be drawn from the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), Chinhoyi University of Technology, Great Zimbabwe University (GZU), Bindura University of Science Education, Lupane State University, some teachers’ colleges and polytechnics.

Zisa national co-ordinator Blessing Kambumu, who is a UZ student, said the union had been formed to represent students on a number of issues.

“Motivated by the desire to address matters that affect us which include accommodation crises at institutions, payment of exorbitant tuition fees and poor Internet services, we have come together to form the Zimbabwe International Students’ Alliance which will execute its duties on a non-partisan and non-discriminatory basis,” he said.

There are two student unions in the country, namely the Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (Zinasu) and the Zimbabwe Congress of Students’ Union (Zicosu).

Both unions have been accused of being sponsored by political parties and Zisa said it was not affiliated to any political party.

“We are different from the Zinasu and Zicosu which are very much influenced by the country’s main political parties. We will be operating independently,” Kambumu said

He said the union, yet to be registered, would use dialogue to address the many challenges facing students.

“We are still finalising matters regarding our legal existence,” Kambumu said.

“We have faith that we will be registered and more functional in a few months.

“Lack of reliable funding has stalled our efforts, so we appeal for financial assistance.”

He said students were free to join the association which would also focus on coaching students to be leaders in various sections of the community.

“We will also focus on grooming students to be leaders in the business community, politics and religion so come and join us”
Dumisani Muyambo, a GZU student, said Zisa’s non-partisan stance would make it the best union to join since it would ensure true representation of students.

“By being non-partisan, it has sown the spirit of togetherness and true representation of students which drives one to join it,” Muyambo said.