Thirteen National University of Science and Technology (NUST) students who were arrested on Monday morning for leading a demonstration at the university main campus in Bulawayo have been charged with public violence.
The students were protesting against the non-availability of lecturers for the parallel classes after the latter down tools citing poor remuneration.
Anti-riot police swooped on the students who had barricaded the main entrances and arrested some of the students believed to have been leading the strike.
Contacted for a comment, the student`s lawyer Jabulani Mhlanga of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) confirmed the development to CITE.
“Police have charged the students with public violence, they are taking their fingerprints. It is unclear whether they will be detained for the night,” said Mhlanga.
Meanwhile, parallel classes are set to resume on Monday after the university reportedly reached an agreement with the striking lecturers.
“This serves to notify students that all Parallel Programme lectures will resume today, Monday 23 September 2019. Therefore, all students are advised to attend lectures as per their respective teaching timetables,” read the notice from NUST.
Nust Educators Association (NUSTEDA) Secretary-General Blessing Jona confirmed that they had reached an agreement with the university management to resume lectures.
“We reached an agreement with management last Thursday but members of the union did not want to resume classes without being paid their outstanding allowances.
“Management has since given us proof of payment that they have deposited all the outstanding amounts to our bank accounts. Some lecturers have started receiving their monies,” said Jona.
Jona added that the management has agreed to review the rates for the evening and weekend classes.
“Instead of paying us at the end of the semester, the management has agreed to review the rates and method of payment. We have settled for monthly instalments especially in this hyper-inflationary environment,” he said.
This comes at a time when the government has reviewed upwards the salaries for university employees, with a Grade 6a lecturer now earning ZW$8 370 up from ZW$2 790 with effect from October 2019.