Sunday, December 01, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) Back off! Students union tells Chamisa
I helped found ZINASU and want it to remain strong ...
Nelson Chamisa
23/10/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

THE Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (ZINASU) on Wednesday demanded that the opposition MDC-T stops interfering in its affairs and blasted the party’s organising secretary, Nelson Chamisa, for allegedly causing havoc in the organisation.

Addressing a press conference in Harare, outgoing ZINASU president, Pride Mukono, said the union had been forced to postpone its congress on a number of occasions due to problems caused by top MDC-T officials.

“We changed the dates for our congress from the 25th to the 27th this month," Mukono said.

We had to change again to the 22nd and now to the 23rd of November not only because of logistical challenges but also because of interference by outside parties, particularly the MDC-T.”

“And quite apart from interfering in our internal processes, we also have MDC-T officials threatening physical violence against delegates expected to attend the congress.

“This is becoming an issue of particular concern to us as ZINASU because we are a non-violent movement we believe in peace; we believe in the ideology of transformation.
“We also believe that as a movement we must retain our autonomy and independence which is very paramount for any movement.”

The ZINASU chief said it was unfortunate that a national political party had reduced itself to interfering in the affairs of student bodies.

“We are particularly worried by the organising secretary of the MDC-T Nelson Chamisa who has gone to the extent of sponsoring factions within ZINASU structures in a bid to re-claim lost glory after his party’s devastating defeat in the last elections.”

However, Chamisa said it was in the interest of his party to ensure that the voice of students was not stifled.

“Are you aware that I am one of the founding members of ZINASU,” he said.

“I founded (the organisation) together with luminaries like (the late) Learnmore Jongwe, Daniel Molokele and Job Sikhala we founded ZINASU and led it to the best of our ability. Why would we want to destroy that which we helped found?”

He added: “Throughout my whole life I have always believed in the student struggle and the last thing that I would do even if I had the opportunity is to undermine a cause for which my whole life has been dedicated to.”

The former ZINASU president said the last time that he was active in student politics was when “I was stills student.

“If they want advice on how to connect with students I am still available to help. Instead of pointing fingers at me they must point fingers at me to signal invitation. We are more than willing to help if they want.”

But Mukono said external forces and individuals should not invite themselves to the organisation’s activities.

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