Students at Midlands State University (MSU) have expressed concern over high rentals being charged for off-campus accommodation which are now beyond the reach of many.
Most students at the university, which has limited on-campus accommodation, are normally accommodated in homes in surrounding suburbs like Senga, Nehosho and KMP.
Students who spoke to this publication said most house owners reviewed their rentals by over 200 percent, while others were now demanding rentals in foreign currency.
Priviledge Mushandu said most of them were not cutting back on their meals to save money for rentals.
“Most of us rely on our parents for money for food and rent, but lately they are struggling to provide us with both, so I have been cutting on food to save money for rentals because I cannot continue burdening my parents,” she said.
Another student, Tariro Nhara, who managed to secure accommodation on campus said they were living in squalid conditions in the hostels due to overcrowding.
“We are experiencing tough times, the university has no choice but to accommodate as many of us as possible in each of the hostels,” she said.
“Each room is accommodating at least five students.”
Mrs Ronica Njere, a house owner, said they had been forced to increase rentals due to the economic challenges in the country.
“We are all trying to make ends meet, we have no choice but to increase our rentals because we are also equally affected,” she said.
MSU’s public relations director Mrs Mirirai Mawere said students with accommodation problems should approach their wardens.
“This will also help us make follow-ups and get feedback from our students,” she said.
“We have wardens in all the suburbs, including Mkoba, so we urge students to make use of them.”
Mrs Mawere said the institution had a very well-organised network for both on-campus and off-campus accommodation.
“For the record, the MSU is one of the universities with the largest on campus accommodation in Africa,” she said.
“We can accommodate up to 6 500 students per semester and no university has such capacity in Africa.”