University staff go on strike

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THE Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) new semester, set to start next week, may get off to a false start after lecturers and support staff downed tools on Monday over non-payment of bonuses, late payment of salaries and non-payment of proceeds from block release students.

TATENDA CHITAGU
OWN CORRESPONDENT

The strike has paralysed business at the university’s multi-campuses dotted around Masvingo, with lecturers and ancillary staff spending the past two days literally lying on the lawn on the institution’s grounds.

They accused the university’s Vice-Chancellor professor Rungano Zvobgo of going on a buying spree of buildings in Masvingo, while neglecting their welfare, as their salaries come late from treasury.

“While we understand that this is a national problem by the treasury failing to pay lecturers, what pains us is that Zvobgo does not cushion us like what happens at other universities.

“For example, other universities get allowances from block release students,” a lecturer said on condition of anonymity.

“We do not.

Vice-Chancellor of the Great Zimbabwe University, Professor Rungano Jonas Zvobgo
Vice-Chancellor of the Great Zimbabwe University, Professor Rungano Jonas Zvobgo

“When salaries are delayed, other universities get them from the varsity account and reimburse it when treasury sends money.”

Called for comment, Zvobgo said he was out of the country and waiting to be briefed about the strike.

“I am out of the country and I have to get an update from home,” he said.

“But all I can say is that the strike at universities is a nationwide problem, not only a GZU one.”

The strike has affected university students who had gone to the institution ahead of the beginning of the new semester to look for accommodation.