STRIKING students at the Zimbabwe School of Mines (ZSM) yesterday blocked the college’s chief executive officer Dzingai Tusai from entering the premises and demanded to be addressed by board members.
BY ALEXIS SIBANDA
The students have been on strike since Monday, protesting against exorbitant fees and Tusai’s alleged corrupt activities.
Police had to intervene on Monday after the students turned violent and went on a rampage after Tusai allegedly skirted their grievances.
The students claimed that they were being made to pay in excess of $2 000 tuition fees per semester and yet their living conditions were deteriorating.
“The CEO addressed students on Monday, but he was beating about the bush, which made students bitter and started throwing stones until the anti-riot police came in and dispersed them,” a students’ representative member who declined to be named said.
“However, the demonstration is continuing today (Tuesday) because the students have suffered enough and they want all their grievances to be addressed immediately and in the right manner, not just for the sake of silencing them.
“We are willing to continue demonstrating despite the coming in of riot police. We will continue blocking the gates up until he calls his board of directors and they properly address us.
“We are determined to go on until all our cries have been attended to because we are short-changed. This issue is a cause for concern because lecturers are also suffering. They are given meagre salaries, while the number of students is increased each and every semester. If the CEO increases the number of students, he should also increase lecturers’ salaries.”
Contacted for comment, Tusai confirmed the students barred him from accessing the college premises.
“I was barred from the gate together with other security guards. They said I should leave the school premises. So I had to leave the school and leave the matter in the hands of the school chairperson as per what the students wanted,” he said.