Featured post

Women’s political participation not an act of charity

By  Blessing Vava    File picture: Is engaging Kenyan women in security affairs the key to creating better policies? Photo: Mari...

Friday, 23 September 2011

Experts cast doubt on new constitution

Experts cast doubt on new constitution

comments 0 comments | Post your comment

Constitutional experts and political parties not part of the Global Political Agreement on Thursday cast doubt on the new constitution being crafted by Copac saying the final document was likely to be a “Zanu PF constitution” which would not be people-driven.

The analysts said Zanu PF had manipulated the process through violence and intimidation and the views likely to prevail were set to be those of Zanu PF.

Constitutional lawyer Greg Linington said contents of the Kariba draft, crafted by the three parties and is preferred by Zanu PF will see the light of day at the expense of people’s views.

“There are a lot of questions on whether the kind of draft that is likely to emerge from this process would be people-driven because Zanu PF made it clear that they favoured the Kariba draft and that seems more important for them than what people said,” Linington said.

“The process should be informed by the views of the people, but if politicians are interested in their pre-conceived ideas and use violence to manipulate the process, there will be a problem.”

Linington said what was important in the drafting stage was to ensure the new constitution upheld the rule of law, independence of the Judiciary, and ensured powers of the Executive were limited.

“I am concerned that there was no civic education prior to the constitution outreach programmes and as a result the issue of violence impacted negatively on the whole process,” he said.

Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) spokesperson Silver Bhebe bemoaned lack of participation by civic society and political parties outside the government of national unity.

“Political parties like MKD were not involved in all stages of the process and Zanu PF was manipulating the process, writing scripts for people. Given that scenario, the draft constitution will express Zanu PF views,” Bhebe said.


Political commentator, Blessing Vava also expressed suspicion on the constitution making process, saying:

“The process itself was marred by chaos, violence and intimidation, which was being perpetrated mainly by Zanu PF which wanted its views to dominate. Many Zimbabweans failed to submit their views to Copac due to too much interference by politicians.”

MDC-T plays into Zanu PF hands

MDC-T plays into Zanu PF hands

CHIEF REPORTER - Sep 23 2011 09:09
comments 2 comments | Post your comment

The MDC-T is blundering by urging party youths to rise up against the infamous Mbare-based suspected Zanu PF outfit, Chipangano, which has been unleashing untold violence and seizing council property in Harare with impunity, analysts said on Thursday.

Although there was confusion over Chipangano activities, with Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo disowning the activists but secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa vowing to defend the group, analysts believe the former ruling party has on its side the State security apparatus, an advantage that makes them “unbeatable in violence”.

The call to rise against the extremist political group was made by MDC-T national vice-chairperson Morgan Komichi during the burial of party founding member Diamond Karanda at Warren Hills Cemetery on Tuesday. He told party youths to “rise up in your thousands and help Harare”, accusing the police of failing to defend the populace.

National Constitutional Assembly chairperson Lovemore Madhuku on Thursday said Komichi’s call was out of order as he should be preaching tolerance and peace.

“Komichi is living in the past,” Madhuku said.

“He is behaving like a political dinosaur. He should not be preaching the politics of violence. He should be talking the politics of free and fair elections and accepting results. MDC-T should be engaging Chipangano because they are not animals, they are people. There is need to talk to Zanu PF and Chipangano and convince them to desist from violence.”

Political analyst Charles Mangongera also said MDC-T would have chosen the wrong path if the party retaliates against the Zanu PF violence.
He said the party did not have the capacity to match Zanu PF and risked being obliterated if it chose the path of violence.

“One of the values of the MDC as a social democratic party is non-violence. That is a value that has appealed to a very huge population because for nearly three decades of Zanu PF rule, people have been used to violence,” Mangongera said.

“People still expect that the MDC should act in a non-violent manner. The party has gained so much ground using peaceful means and if they adopt the ‘eye-for-an-eye’ approach, they risk losing that ground. Remember, Zanu PF has the police, the army and the intelligence service. They cannot be beaten at that game because it is within their DNA. Actually they (MDC-T) will be playing into Zanu PF’s hands if they chose that route.”


Analyst Blessing Vava said Komichi’s sentiments were disturbing, more so, because they were made during the week World Peace Day was celebrated.
Vava said Zanu PF would likely use these statements to crack down on the MDC-T, and defend themselves as justification for their action during Sadc summits.

“It seems it was a statement uttered out of emotions without proper thinking. Zanu PF is provoking MDC and if they respond, they will be crushed because they do not have the machinery and capacity,” he said.

Vava said the principals in the inclusive government were trying to promote peace and party officials should follow suit. 

Police foil students protest, 15 arrested

Police foil students protest, 15 

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 11/12/2009 14:59:48 

ZIMBABWEAN police arrested at least 15 students at the Harare Polytechnic Tuesday, foiling planned street protests aimed at highlighting deteriorating standards in the country's education sector.
Promise Mkhwananzi, the president of the Zimbabwe National Students Union was also arrested, according to the Students Solidarity Trust.

The Trust said the students were still detained at Harare Central Police Station late Tuesday and are likely to face public order offences.
It is illegal under Zimbabwean law to hold a street demonstration without approval from the police, who rarely grant such permission anyway.

Police can also disperse any group of six or more people if they believe they are about to stage a public demonstration.
An official from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, the students' legal representatives, said they had been denied access to the arrested students.

Police still maintained a presence at the Harare Polytechnic late last night, with unconfirmed reports suggesting more students had been rounded up.

Some of the arrested students were named as Maureen Kademaunga, Abisha Dube, Chanda Chinale, Lovemore Chinoputsa, Lawrence Mashungu, Kudzai Mupazviriwo, Gladys Mukubvu, Kudakwashe Mapundu and Blessing Vava. The other names were not immediately available.

The arrests were made hours before the students embarked on street protests. Most of those arrested were from other colleges.
The Trust said the students were "engaging the government of Zimbabwe through street protests" to highlight the "precarious state of higher education in Zimbabwe".

"The students were demonstrating in solidarity with the civil servants who are getting paltry salaries which can hardly sustain people’s livelihoods. They were also demanding that the government address the plight of lecturers who are on strike," the Students Solidarity Trust said in a statement.

"The students also demanded the revocation of the new fees structure, which is making parents fork out a lot of money for tuition."
Zimbabwe is going through its worst economic crisis in history with the highest inflation in the world. This week, officials said inflation had reached 1593%.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Zim police violently crush student protest

Zim police violently crush student protest
by Hendricks ChizhanjeWednesday 15 October 2008
HARARE – Zimbabwe National Student Union (ZINASU) leader Clever Bere was arrested while scores of students were injured on Tuesday as armed police violently suppressed an anti-government protest by the students.
Bere and ZINASU secretary for legal affairs Courage Ngwari with whom he was arrested were still in police custody by late Tuesday evening.
Dozens of riot police armed with guns and rubber truncheons descended on the students as they attempted to march to Parliament were they wanted to present a petition to legislators to work to resolve the crisis in the education sector that has crippled learning at most of the country’s schools and universities.

Part of the demonstrating students holding placards
ZINASU secretary for information Blessing Vava said several students had to receive treatment for injuries sustained during the beatings by the police while others were admitted in hospital.
“Some students are admitted at the CSU. We condemn the violent behaviour by the riot police,” said Vava, adding that the crackdown on students raised questions about the sincerity of President Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU PF party in signing a power-sharing agreement with the opposition.

The power-sharing agreement between ZANU PF and the two opposition MDC formations commits the parties to allow free political activity in the country and to uphold the freedoms of assembly and association.
Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena was not immediately available for comment on the matter.
Zimbabwe’s education, once revered as the best on the African continent has collapsed, in tandem with a deep political and economic crisis gripping the country and which is blamed on Mugabe’s controversial policies. 
Lack of state funding has seen most government schools operating on shoestring budgets, compromising the quality of education, while trained teachers have left the country to seek better paying jobs in neighbouring countries.

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe – one of two unions representing the country’s teachers  last week called on the government to scrap public examinations later this year because pupils and schools were not ready after political violence and a strike by teachers for more pay disrupted much of the 2008 school year. – ZimOnline.

ZIMBABWE: Top student leader arrested

ZIMBABWE: Top student leader arrested

16 August 2009
Issue: 0035 

Zimbabwean police arrested 12 students at the country's top higher education institution just two days after it reopened, as the state's attack on academic freedoms continues.

The arrests at the University of Zimbabwe in the capital Harare followed a student meeting held on campus to chart a way forward regarding continued closure of halls of residence and unaffordable tuition fees - charged in United States dollars or South African rands - which many students have failed to raise.

Two weeks ago, University of Zimbabwe Vice-chancellor Professor Levi Nyagura said student residences would remain closed as there was not sufficient drinking water on campus.

The move has thrown many students on to the streets because they cannot afford the transport and accommodation costs of living off-campus. These costs are also pegged in foreign currency following a February decision by the government to 'dollarise' the economy to escape world record inflation that had reached 11.3 million percent.

Notices have been posted on campus notifying students that those who have not paid fees will be barred from lectures. Students in the faculty of humanities are required to pay US$404 a year while those doing sciences must fork out US$504.

In an interview with University World News, Blessing Vava, Secretary of the Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) - the country's largest student union and winner of the 2003 world peace prize at the International Student Festival in Trondheim - said statistics from the bursar's office revealed that three-quarters of students had failed to pay.

When university authorities planned (but failed) to reopen the institution on 30 March this year, only 68 students out of 12,000 managed to pay - in a country where foreign currency remains out of reach of the majority.

The university was closed in January and remained shut for eight months for various reasons, including a lecturer strike and lack of drinking water that afflicted the whole country and prompted a cholera epidemic.

When the University of Zimbabwe finally reopened on 3 August, police moved in quickly and arrested students on suspicion that there would be riots against the new fee structure.

The student arrests in Harare coincided with protests at the state-run Great Zimbabwe University, where students were also agitating against foreign currency fee payments.

A survey by Zinasu on the effects of forex fees on students found authorities at Gweru Polytechnic College had reported that only 20% of students had managed to pay and register for examinations set for November.

The survey also showed that lecturers continue to leave the country despite the formation of a unity government between long-time ruler President Robert Mugabe and leader of the Movement for Democratic Change Morgan Tsvangirai, who is now Prime Minister.

Zinasu said in a statement that students at Bindura University of Science Education had complained that in every department, one in every three lecturers was under-qualified and inexperienced, which compromised quality. At Solusi University, 30% of lecturers do not have a masters degree, also compromising quality.

"For the past three months Zimbabwean-based lecturers have been facing a dilemma of lack of clearly defined structures in terms of remunerations," the statement said. "All the lecturers were earning a flat figure of US$100 as an allowance."

The government had failed to take into consideration the lecturers' experience, qualifications or grading - "issues that influenced lecturer flight and lack of motivation in the teaching fraternity".

Problems at Zimbabwean institutions also include lack of clean drinking water, shortages of learning materials and collapsing infrastructure. Research at most institutions has ground to a halt.

Jongwe does not deserve to be honoured

November 6, 2009

Jongwe does not deserve to be honoured

Abigail Mphisa 

HAVING been out there in the bundu for a couple of weeks, one does, to an extent, get used to not knowing what is happening out there in the world.Our radio stations are not much use since all they dish out is a diet of “The President, Head of State and Government, who is also the Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces”. So it was that someone brought copies of The Standard and The Zimbabwean that were a few days old. Hungry for news from the outside world, I combed through every page.
Learnmore Jongwe
The late Learnmore Jongwe
It was then that I came across articles about the late Learnmore Judah Jongwe, who died seven years ago, aged just twenty-eight. He died in his Chikurubi remand cell allegedly from an overdose of chloroquine tablets, while awaiting trial for the murder of his wife, Rutendo Muusha. She was a mere twenty-three years old. This was a truly tragic affair.
As MDC spokesperson Jongwe was impressive. I was quite mesmerised by his debating skills prior to the 2000 and 2002 elections when he took on seasoned Zanu-PF stalwarts on television. It was clear the young man was cut out to scale greater heights on the political ladder.
Needless to say there was general sympathy for Jongwe from his colleagues and friends and many a man who did not even know him. It was reported that the row that had led to Muusha’s murder had arisen from the fact that Jongwe had caught her read-handed while having sex with some lawyer at his offices.
On the one hand, prominent Harare lawyer Jonathan Samkange who had been retained by Jongwe broke the story that Ms Muusha, upon being confronted about the events at the lawyer’s offices, had responded that he (Jongwe), was nowhere nearly as good as the lawyer. At that juncture, Jongwe could not contain his rage hence the stabbing. Interestingly, while Samkange happily drags Ms Muusha’s name through the mud, he has not named the lawyer whom she supposedly had sex with.
Seven years later Samkange shamelessly continues to repeat the story.
On the  other hand, Ms Muusha’s family and friends argued that it was in fact the MDC spokesperson who was unfaithful, insanely jealousy and abusive, and who oftentimes beat his wife. One friend said she had been shocked by Muusha’s decision to marry Jongwe, given the fact that he was abusive even before they tied the knot. Yet another friend alleged that the reason they started a family before Ms Muusha completed her studies was due to the fact that Jongwe was so possessive that he feared she might fall for someone else since he had left the university. It was further revealed that Rutendo was in the process of divorcing him following years of abuse.
He had allegedly vowed that if she dared leave him he would kill her.
Fast forward to seven years later. The story that prompted this article has to do with the fact that Jongwe’s colleagues, former student leaders Daniel Molecule, Charlton Whande, Takura Zhangazha and Pedzisai Ruhanya launched a foundation in honour of their late colleague. I must confess I have never met the four but happen to be aware of the fact that they are all human rights activists. I have come across quite a number of their articles and have generally been impressed by their understanding of issues pertaining to human rights.
One Blessing Vava of ZINASU also wrote a glowing article about Jongwe in an obituary carried by The Standard. It was as if he was writing about some martyr. Significantly, he made no mention of the fact that Jongwe brutally murdered his defenceless wife. Instead, as if to imply that Rutendo Muusha’s life was worthless, he is arguing that an enquiry should be made into Jongwe’s death as the student body suspects foul play – a view shared by Jonathan Samkange. Vava also fails to mention the fact that it was reported that Jongwe had in fact tried to take his life soon after murdering his wife.
Here is what I find illogical. Admittedly, countless lives have been lost at the hands of our government and Zanu-PF. However, in the case of Jongwe, they already had him exactly where they wanted him, without any effort on their part – prison. Why kill him when all they needed to do was push for a murder in place of a culpable homicide trial? That way he could be sentenced to death.
Besides, even in the event of a culpable homicide trial, our thoroughly compromised judiciary could have been instructed to sentence him to a lengthy prison term. Anyway, even if the student body feels justified that there ought to be a commission of inquiry into Jongwe’s death, it is disingenuous and insensitive to pretend that Jongwe was an honourable individual.
Having been out of reach of papers and the internet for a couple of weeks, I am not privy to the exact statement issued by the former student leaders to justify the establishment of a foundation to honour their fallen friend. I can only guess that in their myopic eyes he was a role model, indeed a hero of sorts.
I am neither relative nor friend of the Muusha family. I did not know Rutendo either. However, I found this gesture on the part of the four quite unpalatable, disgusting and hugely insulting to those who lost a loved one in Rutendo, a lawyer in the making and a mother of a ten month old baby. She still had her whole life ahead of her.
By venerating and immortalising Jongwe the former student leaders are telling the nation that Rutendo’s murder was justified. Jonathan Samkange is in fact quoted by the Zimbabwean saying, “There was sufficient provocation. Most men would go berserk…”
This is being said of someone who can no longer speak for herself. There is no evidence whatsoever that the infidelity story on the part of Rutendo is even remotely factual as the source is the very man who was going to be paid to ensure that Jongwe went scot-free. Even if it were true, a real man would have simply taken her back to her people. Jongwe’s behaviour has no place in a civilised society.
As if murdering her was not sufficiently evil and uncalled for, her family has to put up with their loved one’s memory being soiled mercilessly over and over again when she is not here to defend herself. Where is the dignity of these people?
If infidelity and insults about lack of sexual prowess justifies murder, would there be any men left on this planet? There are countless stories of men who go to the extent of taking girlfriends to their homes and asking their wives to vacate the matrimonial bed. Shamelessly adulterous men are plentiful in our midst and many justify their behaviour by highlighting their wives’ inadequacies, real or imagined. Yet they continue to walk the face of the earth. One does get sick and tired of the view that an unfaithful wife deserves to be murdered.
If Jongwe deserved all the accolades that he got and is still getting seven years after his death, why could he not control his anger? Surely anger management is one of the hallmarks of worthy leadership? Vava, Ruhanya, Molokele, Zhangazha and Hwende need to take a step back and ask themselves how they would feel if Rutendo had been their sister.
Would they extol the virtues of their sister’s murderer?
My admiration for Jongwe evaporated into thin air when news broke that he had stabbed his wife eight times with a kitchen knife. In place of admiration I was engulfed with a deep sense of sorrow and revulsion. As I finished reading the article about the setting up of a Learnmore Jongwe Foundation, I took a look at the photo of my daughter who turned 23 a few months back. She has dreams, a lot of them.  So had Rutendo. My heart bleeds for her mother and the rest of her family. It is difficult to imagine how any family is expected to deal with such senseless insensitivity after having lost a loved one so full of promise.
Jonathan Samkange is further quoted; “He loved his wife very much. Even when he died, he had his wife’s picture. This is what hurt him most, the betrayal…It (his death) was a loss to Africa as a whole”.
So, Africa should grieve over a murderer who died following an overdose of pills? Having studied a fair amount of psychology, I do not accept that being insanely jealous to the point of “if I cannot have you then no one will” can be remotely interpreted as love. That is pure claptrap. If he had truly loved her, he would have simply let her go and then looked for a virtuous woman in her place. It is as simple as that.
As a matter of fact, I also feel sorry for Jongwe’s family. It could not have been easy for them either. However, to Ruhanya, Vava, Molokele, Hwende and Zhangazha, I say you lost the plot, completely. What kind of human rights activists would seek to venerate someone who violated the most important right of all – the right to life?
You have written countless articles denouncing Zanu-PF for its failure to respect human rights. It is patently hypocritical that you fail to appreciate that Rutendo Muusha’s rights were violated and a ten month old baby was needlessly deprived of her mother. Nothing could ever justify honouring one who unnecessarily took a life.
I am struggling to imagine how you will explain it to your children. Will you perhaps say, “Learnmore was a role model because he bequeathed the following to the people of Zimbabwe…” and then go silent on the issue of Rutendo or you will add a caveat, “but he butchered his wife with a kitchen knife”.
With all due respect to you gentlemen, what kind of society chooses a wife killer as one of its role models? Are we that desperate?

ZINASU president and 9 others arrested

ZINASU president and 9 others arrested

Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU)January 17, 2007

T he Zimbabwe National Students' Union president, Promise Mkwananzi was arbitrarily arrested by state agents at United College of Education during the launch of the Save our Education; Save our Future campaign. The campaign comes against a backdrop of deteriorating educational standards, imminent extension of Mugabe's term of office to 2010 and astronomical fees being charged in all tertiary institutions in Zimbabwe.

In the light of the above submissions, the campaign seeks to; among other things locate the role of the students in the broader democratization initiatives such as the Save Zimbabwe campaign.
According to eye witnesses, he was picked in the company of nine other student leaders by unidentified 
and non-uniformed persons suspected to be from the Zimbabwe Republic Police's Criminal Investigation Department (CID). 

The arrested students' leaders are currently detained at Mzilikazi police station in Bulawayo.
Among the arrested were ZINASU Secretary General, Beloved Chiweshe; ZINASU Secretary for Social and Legal Affairs, Milward Makwenjere; National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Student Representative Council (SRC) president Clever Bere, Vava Blessing SRC president at Bulawayo Polytechnic, Magabatela Jonathan, NUST SRC Treasurer, Nyoni Emmanuel, U.C.E SRC Secretary General and Viki Zwelithini, University of Zimbabwe SRC Vice President.

NUST Students demonstrate...threaten University closure

Du er her: saih.noBistand : Zimbabwe : Artikler

The Weekly Vanguard

1. desember 2006
Av Zinasu
Fredag 01. desember 2006

NUST Students Demonstrations...Threaten
University Closure
On Wednesday 22 November 2006, students at the National University of Science and Technology went into the streets of Bulawayo protesting against the continued deteriorating students' standards of living, which are a result of the introduced capitalist fees policies and the withdrawal of loan and grant system. A general meeting was held on campus were a way forward was made to take up into the streets of Bulawayo and make it known to the general public the plight of students. However, in the road peaceful march to freedom, the students were confronted by the already assembled, stiffly armed notoriously brutal riot police and barred from making any progress. 

15 students including the Students Union Secretary General Mr. Vivid Gwede, Vice President Mr. Mehluli Dube, Treasurer General Jonathan Magabatela and union members Samson Khumalo, Kurai Hoyi were arrested and detained at the Bulawayo Central Police Station. ZINASU leadership, Bulawayo Polytechnic President Mr. Blessing Vava and Hillside Teachers college President Mr. Tafadzwa Chengewa took part in the demonstration in solidarity to the defending the national students' interests and bringing solutions to the deepening crisis in Zimbabwe.

 The Students Union President, Clever Bere, addressed students and made it very clear that if the government has abandoned students, the students in turn will abandon the government, if the government is anti-students the students in turn will be anti-government. The arrested students were released on fine and the students' leadership on bail after being detained for three days. The students union joined hands with all other democratic forces in the country in the Democratic Mass Resistance Campaign.

Students Campaign for Bona Mugabe's Deportation

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Students Campaign for Mugabe's Deportation

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
Chinese Embassy
Baines Avenues
Bona Mugabe
Corner J.Tongogara and 7th Avenues
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.

· Examinations
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.

Yours Faithfully
Blessing Vava
ZINASU Spokesperson
+263 913 022 456

ZINASU President & 14 students arrested

SW Radio Africa news - The Independent Voice of Zimbabwe
ZINASU President & 14 students arrested

By Violet Gonda
5 August 2009

The Zimbabwe National Students Union reports that 14 students from the University of Zimbabwe including ZINASU President Clever Bere were arrested at the campus, three days after the UZ opened for the new semester on Monday.
The students were arrested while holding a meeting with their union representatives outside the university’s main library. Hundreds of students had gathered to chart the way forward on the issue of tuition fees, which many students have failed to raise. Like most tertiary institutions in the country, the UZ has been hit by disruptions over the years ranging from exorbitant fees, class boycotts by students and lecturers, and a serious crisis of accommodation. The institution that used to be one of the best in Africa was forced to shut down for several months because of non functioning sewer systems, students’ unrest over fees, and other issues.
On Wednesday ZINASU spokesperson Blessing Vava said desperate and stranded students are calling for the reopening of the halls of residence, and want the authorities to prioritise education, improve the welfare of students and ensure that all students have access to facilities, whether they have paid their tuition fees or not.
Currently UZ fees are ranging from US$300 to about US$600, amounts that are beyond the reach of the majority of students, in a country where the lowest civil servant earns just over US$140 a month.
Early this week the university placed a notice informing students who have not paid fees that they are barred from attending lectures and from using the library.
Vava said: “From the statistics from the bursar’s office, it’s now clear that three quarters of students have failed to raise money for tuition fees.”
“Today’s arrest is a clear indication that freedom of expression on campuses is still to be guaranteed in this country despite the coming of the inclusive government. We appeal to Ministry of Home Affairs and college authorities to deal with students in a more civilized manner, and allow students to gather and discuss their issues without being victimised.”
The ZINASU spokesperson told SW Radio Africa that human rights lawyers had been deployed to represent the arrested students, who are believed to be held at Avondale Police Station. We could not get a comment from the police.
Meanwhile, scores of students at Great Zimbabwe University held a peaceful protest over high tuition fees, lecturers’ strikes and the failure by the college to release results for examinations written last semester. 

ZINASU warn MDC-T against interference

ZINASU warn MDC-T against interference

STATEMENTS — BY  ON JANUARY 11, 2010 12:09 AM 
ZINASU Press Release: 9 January 2010 
The Zimbabwe National Students Union wishes to dismiss a story as utter hogwash a carried out in the latest edition of the Movement for Democratic Change tabloid ‘The Changing Times” dated 8 January 2010 with the purported new National Executive Council for the Zimbabwe National Students Union. We are shocked that a reputable political party in the mould of the MDC is dragging itself into student politics. 
For the record the story is not true, as a matter of fact ZINASU will be convening its 7th Bi-Annual Congress on the 28th to the 31st of January 2010, and that is when a new leadership will be elected not by the MDC but by the students’ congress. 
We have known for quite sometime the agenda of some donors and an elite class blessed by these donors to try and destroy ZINASU. From that background we then begin to wonder as a student movement if our allies-the MDC are responsible for the publication or it’s this elite-donor project that is just imposing itself on the party of excellence.
The MDC is a party of the working class, the peasants, students, the vulnerable and the poor of this country. It is not and will never be a party of the elite neither will it be a party of the donors.
It is therefore a party that is expected (reasonably so) to understand the struggles of the students of this country. This makes us to question the origin of the so called Changing Times tabloid. Is this mouth piece being produced at number 44 Nelson Mandela Avenue or somewhere else? One begins to wonder! 
It is in this context that we wish to strongly warn the party to respect our sovereign and autonomy as a student movement. The challenges facing the country are huge and enormous and the Party must focus on these.
We further warn the party (as founder members of this working class movement) to be wary of neo-liberal takeover of the party being spearheaded by some donor organisations using their former employees who are now occupying higher offices in party and in government. 
The plan is to use the party to destabilise ZINASU, as ZINASU is seen as a threat to the imperialist agenda being foisted on the party. 
In conclusion and for the record, we wish to reassure the nation that ZINASU will continue to safeguard the gains of the last decade in the democratization project without fear or favour.  The MDC remains our baby.
Those who in their dreams have hallucinations that the labour and students unions will throw in the trowel and leave the party in the hands of opportunists, reactionaries and laptop revolutionaries are lost.
This elite class project and those supporting will defeated. We will not distinguish between the real enemies to the people’s cause and those that support them. 
Blessing Vava, National Spokesperson, ZINASU.

NCA, Zim civics in SA hold successful rally at SADC summit

NCA, Zim civics in SA hold successful rally at SADC summit 

NCA Press Release

15 June 2011

NCA and Zimbabwe civics in SA hold a successful rally at the SADC summit

By Blessing Vava
Sandton-The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) Regional office with other civics hosted a successful rally in Sandton on Saturday 11 June 2011, at the Extra-ordinary summit held in Sandton South Africa discussing the situation on Madagascar and Zimbabwe. 

The extra ordinary summit came at the request of the SADC Troika on politics, defence and security cooperation meeting held in Livingstone Zambia on the 31st of March 2011. In the Livingstone communiqué the Troika called for an end to political violence. In a clear show of impatience with ZANU-PF's blatant continued sponsoring and sanctioning political violence the Troika communiqué 16 and 17 had this to say:

16. Summit noted with grave concern the polarization of the political environment as characterized by, inter alia, resurgence of violence, arrests and intimidation in Zimbabwe.
17. In view of the above, Summit resolved that:
a. there must be an immediate end of violence, intimidation, hate speech, harassment, and any other form of action that contradicts the letter and spirit of GPA; 
b. all stakeholders to the GPA should implement all the provisions of the GPA and create a conducive environment for peace, security, and free political activity 
c. SADC should assist Zimbabwe to formulate guidelines that will assist in holding an election that will be peaceful, free and fair, in accordance with the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections; 

Over a 1000 people gathered to demand from SADC an end to political violence, a return to the barracks of the military and the creation of a conducive environment for the holding of peaceful free and fair elections. Speaking in Sandton the NCA National Spokesperson Madock Chivasa called on SADC to turn the screws on ZANU-PF which he said is the architect of politically motivated violence. 

He called on SADC especially to ensure that women are protected from the brutality of ZANU-PF as the country approach yet another election. The NCA reiterated its call for embedded monitoring from SADC and civic organisation as a matter of urgency.

“Through our Act Now against political Violence, Rape and Torture campaign we are calling on SADC to impress it upon Mugabe and ZANU-PF that violence does not pay. We will ensure that our mothers and sisters are protected from ZANU-PF violence. It will be impossible to have a credible election in an environment of fear and intimidation as we have today".

Chivasa called on the political parties to respect women and their right to participate on political issues. Chivasa also called on Zimbabweans to stand up and speak out against violence and said that the NCA campaign was a great platform to demand an end to political violence,

Dewa Mavhinga of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said its time that "SADC makes it clear to ZANU PF that a time to give peace a chance is now". 

Munjodzi Mutandiri of the NCA regional office emphasised that civics must intensify their efforts to mobilise and organise masses to put pressure on the dictatorship in Zimbabwe. He said the NCA will continue to work with all progressive forces in the fight for democracy and end to violence intimidation and torture. Mutandiri said the NCA' s Act Now Against Political Violence Rape and Torture Campaign has gathered momentum and ZANU-PF will find it difficult to continue using violence as a tool as Zimbabweans are dusting themselves and demanding to be treated with dignity from Zambezi to Limpopo and even those in the Diasporas.

The SADC summit reiterated an end to violence and called on a conducive environment to be created before an election is held dealing a massive blow to ZANU-PF which had hoped to push for an election this year while their candidate President Mugabe is still fit to run a campaign and before their resources run out to sustain their militias and the army who have been deployed in the rural areas.