Tag Archives: UZ

by Costa Nkomo

THE two leading national student bodies, ZIMBABWE Congress of Student Union (ZICOSU) and Zimbabwe National Student Union (ZINASU) faced off at University of Zimbabwe (UZ) last Friday battling for the Student Representative Council (SRC) leadership, an annual electoral exercise conducted at higher learning institutions.

ZINASU’s five year record at the helm of the UZ (SRC), came to a dramatic end as ZICOSU romped to victory through their representative Stephen Tsikirayi who garnered 33.5 percent with 1 468 votes. Tawanda Bvudzijena, representing ZINASU came second with 23.6 percent as he got 1036 votes.

University of Zimbabwe SRC Presidential Contestants.

CANDIDATE

NAME OF CANDIDATE

REG NUMBER

VOTES

A

KAMBARAMI TAKUNDA

R159467C

136

B

KASEKE FANUEL

R168683W

337

C

MUBOKO PHILIP

R141875Q

490

D

NGWENYA MONGIWABESUTHU

R156923X

921

E

TSIKIRAYI STEPHEN

T.

R145809X

1468

F

VUDZIJENA

TAWANDA

R158952B

1034

This development has been construed as a precursor to the national election to be held next year (2018). Some students said a win for ZICOSU forestalls the outcome of the next year general elections.

Takudzwa Gambiza, ZICOSU national president understood the outcome of the UZ SRC election as predictive to the next year’s general elections.

“It shows that that the negative perception towards the ruling party is slowly fading away and the students’ community is sending a clear message that the youthful community is aware of the political landscape and they are also aware of where the future of their country is”, said Gambiza.

A pulsating Nust Democratic Alliance for Academics (DAA) President, Cris Rateiwa said: “When Zicosu wins, Zanu Pf will win”.

“The reason being that, the students shunned elections at UZ, therefore they can also do the same next year much to their disadvantage” said Rateiwa.

Rateiwa lashed at ZICOSU and ZINASU saying, the two main student wings in Zimbabwe are preoccupied with satisfying the interests of mainstream political parties, Zanu PF and MDC respectively. “Most of those who win SRC positions are puppets. Once their term of office expired, their contribution to the mainstream politics is no longer important and they are dumped.”

However, the incumbent Nust SRC president differed with Rateiwa as to him student politics is strictly meant to cultivate political aspirations of the students at higher learning through various engagements without an intention of serving the interests of external politics.

“I understand that the main philosophy behind any election has little to do with any particular political party than it has with the relevant constituencies”, said Shoko. “Whether democrat or republican, the right to choose remains with the students and in the case of UZ, the students have spoken and we have to respect and trust their decision”.

ZICOSU victory at UZ has attracted debates among students community as some argue that it shows the death of student activism in Zimbabwe and that no more meaningful contribution should be expected from the student activism to national political transformation.

Former (NUST) SRC organising secretary general, Samuel Meso said while Zinasu is now an adhocracy, Zicosu victory shows that student politics has lost relevance with time.

“Student activism is confirmed dead and buried”, said Meso. “Student activism in Zimbabwe needs a catharsis and a new rebirth”

Former UZ SRC president, Gift Ostallos Siziba also weighed in as he said, “UZ used to be an island of democracy, now if you go there you meet the devil exorcising demons, it’s sad.” Said Ostallos Gift Siziba, former UZ SRC president.

Meanwhile, when contacted to establish his feeling, President Elect, Stephen Tsikirayi said, “It’s just great, I’m just having it” before hanging the phone.

ZINASU and ZICOSU have been formed to attract students at higher learning institutions. ZINASU operates under MDC .T, while ZICOSU is believed to be aligned to Zanu PF. It is for this reason that some students say student political action under these two main wings have become docile and partisan and therefore inapt to national meaningful political contributions.