Published On: Wed, Jan 11th, 2017

ZCTU blasts UZ over fees hike, threatens crippling action

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Simon Munyoro

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has condemned the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) for hiking fees for medical students despite the current economic hardships being experienced.
ZCTU General Secretary, Japhet Moyo has expressed shock over the hike in fees for Medicine students by the UZ at a time tertiary students are dropping out of school owing to resource constraints.

Moyo said the catastrophic increase which comes into effect when the UZ opens for the second semester next month would result in more students failing to complete their studies and could trigger the same by other institutions of higher learning.

“The UZ’s faculty of medicine’s move to hike fees by 30 percent from $773 to $1 043 per semester is unjustified in an economy where workers who fund the students are virtually not being paid. The same workers have not been awarded salary increments for several years and the government is on record saying the economy cannot afford price increases but surprisingly the UZ raises fees for such a critical faculty,” he said

Moyo added that the ZCTU is worried that the increase in fees could be triggered by the reduced funding to tertiary institutions by the government and the institutions could now be parcelling the burden to students.

“We implore upon the government to quickly intervene and restore sanity in these institutions where more than 12 000 students dropped out since 2016 after failing to raise the required fees. The government should quickly make available students’ grants before allowing tertiary institutions to hike fees which results in the disenfranchisement of thousands of prospective and enrolled students, “added Moyo.

He said that the ZCTU is prepared to join forces with students’ organisations in resisting this emerging trend of fees increases if authorities do not provide grants or reverse the unwarranted increments.