STUDENTS at Lupane State University (LSU) yesterday staged a demonstration at the university’s campus in Lupane protesting the institution’s decision to bar those who have not paid $350 registration fees from lectures.
LSU has an enrolment of more than 3 000 students and more than 60 percent have not paid registration fees.
The students’ demonstration came just a day after the university barred those who had not paid the fees from attending lectures and accessing its properties.
LSU students’ representative council president Mr Silas Makusha said students were forced to demonstrate due to the decision to bar them from lectures.
“Barring students from attending lectures and accessing the university’s premises is what sparked the protest. As we speak no one is attending lectures. We are living in crowded rooms. A room which is supposed to be used by two students is now accommodating eight students. They are also providing us with poor quality food,” said Mr Makusha.
He said poor internet connectivity was among the issues that the students want to be addressed.
Mr Makusha said the university should give students a time frame when it’s going to address all their grievances.
“Instead of barring students who have not registered from attending lectures they should just withhold their results. They should be flexible to us as we are flexible to them,” said Mr Makusha.
LSU director of marketing and communication Mr Zwelithini Dlamini yesterday confirmed the students’ demonstration.
He blamed it on final year students who are not happy with their accommodation arrangements.
Mr Dlamini said due to the increase in the number of students at the university, fourth year students were requested to stay four in each room instead of three as was the previous arrangement.
“They made sure that no one goes to the dining hall as of last night and today for lunch. Part One and Two students went for their lectures this morning and these guys felt they were being betrayed in their struggle so they followed them to their lecture rooms and made noise,” he said.
“It’s not a collective but a coercive measure by the affected students. The other groups were not making noise about their accommodation.”
Mr Dlamini, however, said the university was engaging the students.
He said accommodation problems would ease when the hostel for male students is completed at the end of March.Chronicle