UZ students approach High Court over hefty fees

UNIVERSITY of Zimbabwe (UZ) students have filed an urgent High Court application seeking an order reversing a staggering 700 percent tuition fees hike.

Under the new fees structure, undergraduate students have to pay as much as $500 000, and a million for masters studies per semester.

The fees hike has sparked an outcry and protests, with students saying the charges are unreasonable.

“Raising fees in some cases by a factor of 700% is grossly irrational and unreasonable,” the UZ students said in their urgent chamber application filed on Friday.

They are represented by lawyer Tendai Biti.

They cited UZ Chancellor Paul Mapfumo and the university as the Respondents.

“The current rate of inflation is 197%. Therefore raising fees beyond the rate of inflation is simply unsustainable and grossly unreasonable and irrational,” they submitted.

“The tuition charged and levied to students is therefore not the primary basis of the financing of the institution. The financing of the institution depends wholly on the Government of Zimbabwe through the Consolidate Revenue Fund.

“It is therefore our respectful contention that given the huge Supplementary Budget of over 100% allocated to the University of Zimbabwe which takes their budget from $3,3 billion to $7.9 billion, the massive increase of tuition fees was totally unnecessary therefore grossly unreasonable and irrational.”

The matter has not been set down for a hearing.

About 20 UZ students were arrested last week during protests over the hefty fees. 

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