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Minister says Zim’s college fees are the lowest in the region; says long overdue and inevitable 450% hike

By Anna Chibamu


The GOVERNMENT says the recent tuition hike of over 450% was justifiable given that higher education tuition fees had not increased for almost two years.

Head of Government Affairs Parliament and Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told lawmakers on Wednesday that many developments, including salary increases, had taken place but the structure of higher education fees remained stagnant in relation to changes in the market.

He was responding to the MP for Magwegwe, Anele Ndebele, who had expressed concern about the increase in tuition fees by the establishments, almost a fortnight ago.

Ndebele asked, “Exorbitant prices and fees are indicators of the challenges facing our citizens. Fundamental rights are now inaccessible to many.

“State college fees have gone up 450% with ministry approval, which is really insensitive. I want to check with the head of government affairs if there is a deliberate policy by our government to protect the majority of the poor, who cannot afford to fund higher education because it should not be the preserve rich? »

Ziyambi then responded by stating, “State university fees have not increased in over a year and a half. Honorable Members are well aware that a lot has happened during this particular period.

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“If you compare when the fees were indexed to the current structure that was reviewed and the cost of living that was there, including salaries, you will realize that there was a need for a review.

Minister of Justice Ziyambi Ziyambi

“When you compare the fees with what is done in the region, we are the cheapest. Either way, our state universities have programs in place to ensure that our students are protected in terms of payment plans, access to loans, and other support services that may be offered.

“Indeed, there was a huge leap forward, but it was done after realizing that we had kept fees frozen for over a year and a half or even two years, and everything else went up, but the fee structures are not that exorbitant if you compare with the region.

But Ndebele, still unhappy with Ziyambi’s response, asked: “When ministers speak to the nation through this chamber, it is understood that they represent what is on the mind of the whole cabinet.”

“In January, the Minister of Higher and Higher Education (Amon Murwira) rightly said that any change in fees in higher education institutions would be based on affordability, reasonableness, sustainability , as well as other factors. He said other factors were linked to improving economic conditions.

“We all wonder why our government is prone to a sudden change in policy. What economic considerations have been taken into account? What has changed to allow for this change in terms of our fees?

“We are talking here about children of teachers who do not pay university fees, including MPs. We can’t afford to pay that. What drives this selfish consideration? said Ndebele.

But Ziyambi insisted changes had been made.

“A lot has happened and there is statistical evidence to show the movement that happened from January to September where we are.

“So there are a lot of reasons that have been put in place when looking at these fees and I always tell the House, Madam Speaker, that our fee structure is one of the cheapest in the region,” the minister told Vice President Tsitsi Gezi. .

Opposition CCC Shakespear MP Hamauswa, however, reminded Ziyambi that there had been a series of petitions from college and university students.

“As the Parliamentary Committee for Higher and Tertiary Education, we have decided that we now need to organize a workshop of all stakeholders where we will focus not only on fees, but also on the financing of education in the country and this request was rejected. Now we have received the petition again.

“This issue of fees needs to be taken in a broader perspective to say what our policy is in terms of funding our education in Zimbabwe.

“When we applied, the application was rejected and it is also wrong that the fees were last revised two years ago,” Hamauswa explained.

The MP also accused the government of failing to resolve the fee impasse, as seen in the seven petitions over the past three years presented to Parly.

Zanu PF MP Marko Raidza urged the president to force Murwira to issue a ministerial statement on the matter.

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