Zinasu welcomes suspension of Mugabe scholarship

HARARE - Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) has welcomed the suspension of the Presidential Scholarship Programme, saying the bursary should be used to support students in local universities.

Chris Mushowe, head of the scholarship programme said last week enrolment for the Presidential Scholarship Fund had been suspended amid revelations that government was battling to pay tuition fees and cater for the welfare of students living in South Africa.

Mushowe said the government owes South African universities over $1 million in tuition and was failing to provide for the welfare of students.

“Because of lack of funding, we have stopped taking students until we are done with the current lot because we do not have enough funding for the project,” Mushowe said.

“This is largely because since 2010, we did not receive enough funding from Treasury.”

Zinasu said Mugabe should use this suspension to consider funding students in local universities.

“What is the scope of having scholarships for South African universities when we have universities here in Zimbabwe?,” Zinasu national coordinator Samuel Gwenzi said.

“It is far more expensive to support students abroad than here in Zimbabwe

“It is high time the scholarship is used to support students in local universities. The money that is used to support the students in South Africa is enough to pay the tuition fees for all the students in Zimbabwe. Therefore, it is important for the powers that be to consider funding students in local universities.

“By so doing, the government will show that it has confidence in its universities here in Zimbabwe. As it is now, we believe that the government thinks there are better universities in South Africa than in Zimbabwe and this is not acceptable.”

The Presidential Scholarship Programme was founded in 1995 to give academically-gifted students from poor families a chance to study in South African universities.

President Robert Mugabe is the patron of the fund.

The programme drew students from each of the country’s 10 provinces.

Due to failure by government to pay tuition and provide welfare allowances to the students in the neighbouring country, some of the students have been reportedly forced into prostitution and drug dealing to earn a living.

Reports from South Africa indicate that some institutions told the students last December not to return if their debts were not settled, but Mushowe said government has negotiated with the universities to pay in instalments.

Zimbabwe has 450 students at the University of Johannesburg, 100 students at Wits University, while an undisclosed number of beneficiaries are at other universities such as Fort Hare, Monash and University of KwaZulu Natal, among other institutions.

Comments (9)

zvinofadza fani. all those students should go to local universities because, we as ordinary Zimbabweans have nothing to lose since this schorlaship has been helping ZANU PF connected students only............so zvir bho fani.

ECONOMIST - 25 March 2014

Lets parade all students on this program and you will be shocked; all are of substance and connected to Zanu pf. Corruption inoruma munhu wese yozo nyanyisa kune vanoyiita!!

Dzidzai - 25 March 2014

South African Universities are owed $1 million in tuition for Hundreds of students and yet there is money to spend $5Million buying a house in Hongkong for 1 student & pay for her tution to do a micky mouse course which she will never use, spend $2-3Million for a wedding for the same student.

Lt General - 25 March 2014

Lt General's comments makes interesting reading.

Retired Lt. General - 25 March 2014

The means test was discarded years ago. Now it's a question of patronage. The children of chefs go to UJ, WU,UKZN, UCT whilst the rest who would include those from poor backgrounds or from parents from the lower echelons of the party go to the UV, UFH and so on.

Dopori - 25 March 2014

the programme all along was benefiting a few students which belonged to zanu pf chiefs and not the nation.so its better this dead thing be scratched once and for all.

gaza - 26 March 2014

I am sorry to other cronies of ZanuPf because this was meant for the zanupf chefs' children not the poor we are told. At least we are now told it was tax payer's money not the President's money.

maita - 26 March 2014

I failed to get this scholarship twice until i got overaged

Jamaican - 26 March 2014

Chris stop being selfish whats good about others not getting the benefit and who said the scholarships will be localised.Wakangango fanana ne bedzi rinopisa imba yepisa munda warisina kurima kuti munhu wese afanane...

fidza - 27 March 2014

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