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“NO TO STUDENT TORTURE” – ZICOSU PRESIDENT By Raynald Ngwarati M

Tension is rising as students have taken to social media to refute calls by the University of Zimbabwe for the students to return to campus for the exams. In a statement issued by Professor Moyana on the 6th of January 2021, exams are due to begin on the 20th. This has been met with widespread opposition from students who are claiming that COVID-19 is at its peak and they do not want to commit suicide by going back to campus in such a dangerous environment.

Students have lashed out at this decision by the University, claiming that they cannot risk their lives for the sake of exams, calling for the post-ponement of the exams until it is safe. This comes after a surge on the number of positive cases and recorded deaths which prompted the Minister of Health, Vice President Dr. CDGN Chiwenga to pronounce a strict 30 day national lockdown on the 2nd of January 2021. COVID-19 is in its second wave and has proved to be even deadlier than before with the death toll rising to over double those recorded during the first wave.

The students argue that the virus is real and the environment is not safe for them to go for exams as they expose themselves to the deadly virus which has claimed millions of lives globally. As the opposition mounts to UZ’s decision of opening for exams students have created an online petition reading, “DEAR UZ PLEASE DO NOT SACRIFICE US,” in which they call for UZ to defer face-to-face re-opening for a later safer date as well as pushing the Vice Chancellor and responsible persons to plan and implement examinations to continue as planned and online school to commence in due time.

Moreso, to the delight of many students, ZICOSU President and SRC VP Wilbert Muzaruwetu posted on social media that,

“In many times l have been acting in the best interests of both Gvt & Students fraternity. In this decision l’m 100% on students & parents side, no UZ student is going back to school doesn’t matter part final, or exam classes. It’s too much risk, NO to STUDENT SLAUGHTER”. @uzcelebs1

This post by the SRC VP was also shared on the page of UZ CELEBS as well as various whatsapp groups, exposing a strong stance that the students are taking against returning to campus.

Wilbert confirmed that indeed he had posted the message. He however clarified that the University is still firm on its position, but eventually they may get moved by the massive uprising as he said, “Anyway the university hasn’t officially said we are going back yet, so by whistle blowing like this it makes the intent clear from us that we don’t want students to go back.”

Without doubt it is clear that the students are against the move of returning to campus calling it “suicide”, “students slaughter” and “sacrifice” to mention a few. It still remains to be seen if UZ will get moved by the student’s protests or they will stick to their decision. Whatever way the University knows what is best for the students and their decision will be crucial.

#staysafe #maskupzim #stay@home #covid19is real #lifestylemagazineZW

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