The Zimbabwe National Students Union yesterday, the 26th of January 2009 launched a campaign dubbed "Bring Bona Mugabe back to Zimbabwe". Please find below the petition to the Chinesse Embassy demanding the immediate return of President Mugabe''s daughter Bona back to Zimbabwe who is advancing her education at Hong Kong University.
27 January 2009
Chinese High Commissioner
Corner J.Tongogara and 7th Avenues
RE: BRING BONA MUGABE BACK TO Zimbabwe Campaign
The Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU), representing the students of Zimbabwe calls for the return of Bona Mugabe, the daughter of the President- designate Mr Mugabe back home to come and suffer with other patriotic students studying in the State Universities. It is disheartening to note that the first family insolently sent daughter Bona Mugabe under an assumed name to the University of Hong Kong, China to further her studies while students in Zimbabwe suffer. Colleges and Universities in the country have failed to open since 2008 amongst other reasons, exorbitant and dollarization of fees, lecturers striking over poor remuneration, serious brain drain of staff resulting in students failing to sit for examinations.
It is the obligation of the Government to oversee that education is accessible to all. The failure by the Mugabe led Government to administer the education sector has seen the once prestigious education sector dilapidated from being one of the best in Africa. According to a UNDP 2006 report, Zimbabwe's literacy rate was at 86% in 1996 but has fallen to 46%. The state of education system is so deplorable that the President has seen it fit to trust the Chinese for the education of his daughter whilst ordinary students are failing to get decent education. The following issues have hit hard on the education system and the Mugabe led Administration has to take immediate action in resuscitating the education system:
· Dollarization of education
The proposed new fee structure quoted in foreign currency has forced thousands of students to drop out of college as a result of failure to pay fees.
· Brain drain
The mass exodus of teaching personnel has resulted in many colleges operating below capacity. Lecturers have migrated to neighboring countries in search of greener pastures and this has had led to the deterioration of the quality of education as many colleges were left with less qualified lecturers resulting in the manufacturing of half baked graduates.
· Academic freedoms
Academic freedoms have ceased to exist in the institutions of higher learning. The imposition of suppressive laws like the Ordinance 30 at colleges has led to the violation of the freedom of expression. Student leaders have been expelled, suspended, arrested for staging peaceful protests against the college administration and the Government over the deteriorating education system.
Lecturers have been on industrial action the greater part of the 2008 academic year and up to date and this has resulted in students failing to write end of semester examinations. 2008 can be declared a non academic year as no meaning learning took place . Grade 7, Ordinary and A Level students were forced to write final examinations without learning the whole year.
In conclusion, ZINASU demands the return of Bona Mugabe as a way of mounting pressure on President Mugabe to resuscitate the once prestigious education system.