Female Students Network (FSN) would like to express its displeasure in the continued rivalry between the two leading students’ movements in the country, Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) and Zimbabwe Congress of Students Union (ZICOSU).
We have a strong belief that the rivalry which sometimes turns nasty is the root cause of why female students are shunning student leadership. FSN condemns in the strongest sense the polarisation of student movement along political parties as we believe that student’s movements are meant to impress the plight of students. We consider that the plight of students is the same, hence there is no reason why the two organisations should be at each other’ s throats as opposed to forging a united front in improving the learning conditions for students.
The Network understands that the rivalry between ZINASU and ZICOSU is an extension of the polarisation of the political situation in Zimbabwe where some political parties are now using the student bodies to further their ambitions at the expense of the students’ plight.
As an organisation that advocates for equal participation between female and male students in institutional politics, FSN is greatly disturbed by these clashes as they hinder the Network’s cause. The Network has been receiving reports from female students who withdraw from contesting in SRC elections because of intimidation and fear of being caught up in the clashes between ZICOSU and ZINASU. These clashes do not provide a level ground for the maximum participation of female students.
Furthermore, FSN believes a united and focused student movement will deliver the much needed improvement of educational standards and student politics which we all aim to achieve. When we call for unity we are not saying ZINASU and ZICOSU should merge, and form one union. While this might be noble, they might have different founding ideologies and principles, but we also believe that a request for a united fight for the uplifting of student welfare is not asking for too much from the two bodies if their cause is real.
We believe that with a united spirit, the rivalry between the two bodies will be a thing of the past hence female students who are usually vulnerable in hostile environments will start actively participating in student leadership without fear of being fingered in the nasty fights between ZICOSU and ZINASU.