Lecturers at ZAOGA owned Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University (ZEGU) have stopped conducting online lectures demanding salaries and COVID-19 allowances equivalent to the ones paid State run Universities.
A lecturer who spoke to 263Chat on condition of anonymity said they have stopped conducting lectures owing to poor remuneration and dishonesty from authorities at the institution.
“We are fed up with the administration, they are not honouring on their promises. Last year we embarked on a similar strike and we had three meetings that culminated in our salaries being pegged equivalent to our colleagues at State Universities,” said the lecturer.
The lecturer said they have tried everything to have their grievances addressed by the University’s Chancellor and founder Professor Ezekiel Guti and they have been hitting the brick wall.
“We have tried to engage the administration but without any success and we have also written to the Chancellor Prof. Guti but it seems our letters are not reaching him. We feel that someone is blocking our efforts to reach the Chancellor,” he said.
The industrial action has disadvantaged online lectures prompting students to petition the institution’s Registrar. In a petition gleaned by 263Chat, SRC secretary general Takudzwa Mukove pleaded with the ZEGU authorities to reward the striking lecturers.
“Reference is made to the notice of industrial action which was served to you by ZEGU Lectures this year. In my capacity as the undersigned and as a student, we feel the strong chains of incapacitation that your administration has caused to our beloved Lecturers, depriving them of the means and motivation to discharge their duties efficiently.
“You have tied a heavy albatross around their necks and the resultant effect is injurious to student learning. From whence shall we drink, when our fountains of knowledge are drained dry? There is need for expediency in addressing Lecturers’ grievances to ameliorate the status of the institution gradually inclining into disrepute. We are cognisant of your Agreement with Lecturers in 2020 wherein you undertook to equate their salaries with those serving in state universities.
“You had a noble idea of cushioning them from the intense heatwave of the crippling economy exacerbated by daily price skyrocketing. We stand solid and in solidarity to support the Lecturer cause. For Christ’s sake, invoke your Christian values to see to it that he who works should be rewarded accordingly.” read Mukove’s letter.
He added “That is the ration aloof your existence as administrators to attend to genuine issues that threaten the credibility of the institution. We also further and politely advise that if the management remain mum and antagonistic to the cause, like they usually do, resulting in any deprivation of our Academic interests, surely and obviously do expect an organised democratic response from all angles in the soonest time. Acknowledge by acting accordingly with expediency and in good faith.”
Efforts to get a comment from ZEGU Deputy Registrar, Ms Mukosi were unsuccessful as her mobile number was continuously engaged.