Walter Mswazie Masvingo Correspondent
The Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) says they are owed over $5 million by students in outstanding tuition fees, which is adversely affecting the institution’s operations, authorities have said.
The university’s Vice Chancellor Professor Rungano Zvobgo last week said they were failing to meet some of their obligations due to the large sum of money they are owed.
He said the students were the institution’s major stakeholders.
Prof Zvobgo made the remarks during a public lecture by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa at Robert Mugabe School of Education in Masvingo on Friday as part of World Press Freedom Day commemorations.
“We have students who are yet to clear their debts and they owe us $5,5 million in outstanding fees,” he said.
“The university is going to use all avenues, to recover the money. You will note that this money contributes a lot to the day-to-day running of the institution.
“We should demand what belongs to us. We will be merciless in recovering what we are owed. The students should know that there are no freebies.
“Students should know that education is not free. They should pay for the services they enjoy.
“We are unable to complete some of our projects because we are owed substantial amounts of money by some of the students”.
Prof Zvobgo said it was important for those who owe the university to pay up for the university to continue providing quality education.
“We also have our creditors that we ought to pay, but if we let students access the education for free, we will always be found wanting,” he said.
The GZU student population has grown phenomenally from 5 000 in 2012 to about 16 000. The university also accommodates students from South Sudan, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Namibia.
The Herald understands that the university has also adopted a multi-campus approach through the acquisition of several buildings in the city, Mashava Mine and along Masvingo-Mbalabala Road.
They also have Mucheke Campus at old Mandava Hotel in Mucheke Suburb, Industrial site Campus and City Campus.
This year’s World Press Freedom Day commemorations were held under the theme, “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation”.
The public lecture was held under the theme: “Media, Social Innovation and the Restoration of Democracy in the Second Republic” and coincided with World Press Freedom Day.