Protesting Nust students shut down varsity

STUDENTS at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust), which is located a few kilometres outside Bulawayo, yesterday turned rowdy and shut down the main campus in protest over the administration’s failure to resolve their lecturers’ month-long strike over poor working conditions.

BY SHARON SIBINDI/TALENT GUMPO

Lecturers at Nust have been on strike since opening day this year, accusing the administration of failing to improve students’ learning facilities and providing lecturers with adequate teaching materials.

The demonstration, which started as early as 6am yesterday, saw students shutting down all the university entrances with logs, blocks and tree branches and blocking the Nust staff from gaining access to the campus.

When Southern Eye arrived at the main campus, the students had blocked the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Highway.

Two fuel tankers going towards Bulawayo were turned back by the angry students, as the drivers were advised to use other routes.

Nust Students Representative Council (SRC) minister of students’ affairs, Lesley Maniwa, said the students had gone for almost four weeks without lectures as the SRC, administration and lecturers failed to reach consensus.

“It is high time we exercise our intellectual stamina and say no to this kind of abuse and inhumanity. We can’t just fold our hands and watch the situation blurring and impairing the brightness of our future. Rise up Nustians and be part of the peaceful shutdown of the institution awaiting the resumption of our lectures.”

Scores of students were arrested in the melee.

Contacted for comment, Nust spokesperson Felix Moyo said the matter had been resolved.

“The matter has been resolved and the following has been agreed on: That NustEDA will terminate its strike immediately and classes will resume tomorrow on Tuesday 27, February (today) at 8am. The Nust management will immediately suspend the circular on teaching loads. The parties will still appear before the Labour Court judge to advise the court that the matter has been resolved,” he said.


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