A ZANU PF aligned group, the Zimbabwe National Congress Union (ZICOSU), distributed chocolates, meal tickets and $10 notes to University of Zimbabwe (UZ) students in the recently ended Students Representative Council Presidential elections which they won, rivals have claimed.
ZICOSU, which is a rival to the main student activist body, the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU), won the recent elections by 1400 to ZINASU’s 1200.
According to ZINASU, their loss was as a result of massive vote buying by the Zanu linked group which took advantage of the poor students.
Speaking at a press conference in Harare this week, ZINASU Secretary General, Makomborero Haruzivishe, said UZ students were offered goodies among them chocolates and plates of sadza.
“What we know very well is that the elections at the University of Zimbabwe were rigged. Chocolates, sadza tickets that were distributed near the campus dining hall and a situation where the university was turned into a large supermarket by the Zanu PF aligned group were a cause for concern,” said Haruzivishe.
The fire brand students’ leader added that the current harsh economic crisis was leading to serious manipulation of the poor students who cannot afford the increasing cost of living.
“ZINASU also notes with great concern the current rise of cases where students are being manipulated by powerful people for the sake of survival. A clear example is that of Cain Mathema’s wife whom he manipulated while she was a Midlands State University student on attachment at his office,” he said.
Mathema (70) is the Matabeleland North Provincial minister who married a 23 year old student, Bathabetsoe Nare.
Efforts to get a comment from the ZICOSU leadership were fruitless as they were not answering their phones and did not reply to messages sent to them.
Haruzivishe further said the current cash crisis was taking its toll on the students.
Through their spokesperson, Zivai Mhetu, ZINASU said they were behind MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the 2018 elections.