The Zimbabwe Congress of Students Union (Zicosu) has demanded fairness and transparency in the use and disbursement of Zimdef funds which are aimed at human capital development and assisting underprivileged students at tertiary institutions.
Speaking during a Zicosu provincial students’ convention held at Masvingo Polytechnic, Zicosu national president Pijiwest Nhamburo said the funds must be properly channeled to benefit the students in all tertiary institutions.
“Zimdef funds were previously used by the likes of Jonathan Moyo to buy bicycles in Tsholotsho but this money is for students. If those funds are there let them be used for the benefit of students because we want to promote innovations and inventiveness among students.
“Students must create inventions that benefit our industry and if we fail to support these inventions through the funds, who are we promoting? The money should be used by the students,” said Nhamburo.
He accused higher and tertiary institutions authorities of abusing the money and proposed the inclusion of universities and vocational training centres into the programme.
“We have been in constant dialogue with the minister and he has been referring and telling us that Zimdef funds are there. We beg you to consider students at vocational training centres, universities and agricultural colleges because they are also students,” said Nhamburo.
Responding to the concerns, guest of honour at the event and Deputy Minister of Defense, Victor Matemadanda said the funds were going to be disbursed accordingly and promised to engage the ministry to map the way forward.
“Concerning Zimdef funds, it’s now a good thing that these days there are no thieves. Existing security nets around Zimdef funds do not allow the minister to misuse the funds in the manner that Jonathan Moyo did. If it is stolen, then there will be a group of people who would have agreed to steal the money.
“I will go and talk to the relevant minister. Your superiors must keep in touch with me but we are going to push so that you get the money,” said Matemadanda.
Unfair allocation of the funds has seen school authorities clash with students who feel shortchanged.
Former Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Jonathan Moyo stands accused of channeling some of the money towards his campaign trail in Tsholotsho.