Students Unions in Zimbabwe used to stand firm and steadfast in fighting for issues which directly affected their welfare.
Recently however, student leaders have been turning a blind eye to those problems and have focused more on factional fights in political parties.
With the forthcoming ZANU PF Congress and the attendant factional fights that have been reported in the media, the ZANU PF aligned Zimbabwe Congress of Students Unions (ZICOSU) leadership has already declared its allegiances. Even though it is divided between the Mujuru and Mnangangwa factions as evidenced by two press conferences held by students in the last two weeks.
On the other hand, some politicians in the MDC T have also tried by all means to fund certain individuals within the mainstream Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) in a bid to gain support and control of the union.
During the era of Learnmore Judah Jongwe, Job Sikhala, Tafadzwa Musekiwa to mention but a few the government of Zimbabwe was always brought to account by a fearless generation of student leaders.
Of late however, students have become more eloquent when articulating political party issues and not the actual concerns of the thousands of their members.
It is therefore high time students define their own struggle without the influence of politicians who just want to take advantage of them and just use them for nothing.
From my own personal experience as the organizing secretary of the Zimbabwe High School Student’s Union (ZIHISTU) some political party leaders sought to take advantage of the Union to advance their own political agendas. Thankfully we managed to be assertive enough in telling them that if they want to be stakeholders in our union’s stuggles they have to subscribe to our own ideology and not the other way around.
To my brothers and sisters in ZINASU and ZICOSU, I recommend that they take some time to reflect and act more on the problems which are affecting students. This as opposed to being canon fodder for opportunistic political leaders.