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Struggling Zimbabwe Students Threaten National Strike

Zimbabwe National Students Union in previous protest.
The Zimbabwe National Students Union is threatening the government with protests if authorities do not address the plight of the country's struggling students by next week.

Zinasu president Gilbert Mutubuki told a news conference Monday in Harare that his union is unhappy with the government's failure to provide social amenities in several learning institutions and free education to primary school students in line with the new constitution.

Zinasu, sid Mutubuki, is shocked that the government has hiked tuition fees in several universities countrywide despite its earlier calls for all learning institutions not to increase fees.

He said the union will call for nationwide protests next week if the government does not address the plight of students. Most students in the country are living in poverty as the government has failed to provide grants and loans as was the case in the late 1990s and early 2000s due to a crippling financial crisis in the past decade. Some young students have allegedly been forced into relationships with older men to get financial support through college.

The crisis in the education sector has been worsened by the withdrawal of financial support by some non-governmental organizations that are citing resource constraints.

Studio 7 failed to get a comment from officials in the education ministry on the subject. The government recently said due to its empty coffers Harare would not be able to finance the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM), a scheme meant to assist underprivileged children with their education.