Lectures resumed Wednesday at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) after the institution was briefly shut down Tuesday due to food protests by students.
Chaotic scenes characterized the university in the capital Harare on Tuesday after students staged demonstrations against non- provision of food after lectures and non-academic staff, including canteen staff, downed tools protesting late payment of their February salaries.
Anti-riot police was called in to quell the protests which forced administrators to close the institution, saying it would reopen on March 24.
Government, however, intervened late Tuesday and reversed the decision to close the institution, and ordered lectures to resume Wednesday.
In a statement Wednesday, UZ Vice Chancellor Levi Nyagura confirmed the resumption of lectures.
“Following an earlier statement issued yesterday advising students, the general public and indeed the University of Zimbabwe Community that the institution was going on recess until March 24, I am happy to advise that urgent issues that needed immediate attention have now been resolved. Consequently, lectures resumed today,” Nyagura said.
He advised students to return to their hostels immediately and attend lectures as usual.
Lecturers at other state universities, including Midlands State University, National University of Science and Technology and Great Zimbabwe University had also downed tools since last week protesting against non-payment of February salaries and last year’ s bonuses.
Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Oppah Muchinguri moved swiftly to end the strike by announcing that government would release the outstanding salaries starting on March. 17.
The Zimbabwe government is facing serious financial challenges which have undermined its capacity to timeously pay its workers, estimated at 500,000 and whose salary bill consumes 90 percent of state revenue.? Enditem