“Plight of Zimbabwean students studying in Russia”
Esther 4:14 says, “ ... you cannot remain silent at such a time as this, …”. It has come to our attention that Zimbabwean students studying in Russia under the presidential scholarship are caught between a rock and a hard surface and wish they could turn back the hands of time, back to the day they made the decision to study abroad. Stranded Zimbabwean students in Russia have posted a twitter thread, @ zimstudentsrussia accusing the government of turning a blind eye to their plight. It is alleged that it's been two years since the Ministry of Finance sent stipends to these students. Challenges and fears addressed by these students are as follows;
-Hunger- students are starving in Russia, they are attending classes on empty stomach
- Due to unpaid rentals, students are fearing that they could be barred from classes and hostels.
- The are also facing humiliation at the hands of school authorities for unpaid rentals
- Russia is known for its harsh weather conditions and Zimbabweans students are struggling to put in their mouth what more clothes they are very expensive.
According to the Russia Government Scholarship-a bilateral training agreement between Russia and Zimbabwe Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Russians pays only tuition costs while Zimbabwean government meets the living expenses. In the twitter messages students state that Russian government is fulfilling its obligations as per agreement while Zimbabwean government is failing. In January student representatives Fraternity Makande and Artwell Muzata met with President Mnangagwa to address the matter. He then assured them that their arrears were to be cleared by end of January 2019. However up to date there is nothing that has reflected in their bank accounts.
We as the Student Christian Movement, are concerned with student welfare issues we are deeply saddened and concerned about the welfare of these students. We therefore demand for an immediate official government response to this situation.We believe that your response will serve as transparency and accountability.