“We call upon the national treasury to halt funding of the notorious Presidential Scholarship,” said ZINASU President Tinashe Mugwadi while speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday.
The students said the scholarship programme was partisan and largely benefited students of people with Zanu (PF) links.
“President Mugabe want the scheme to be given US$54 million from treasury against the local funding of US$ 20 million,” said Mugwadi.
He added that his organisation got an assurance from Finance Minister Tendai Biti that he will
not release any further funds towards the scholarship programme until concerns of the student
union have been addressed.
The students held a meeting with both Biti and Higher Education minister Stan Mudenge to express their disappointment with the scholarship programme among other things.
At the meeting, Mudenge is said to have hinted that if Biti blocks funds to the scholarship programme, Mugabe would continue running it using his own funds like he did with the Presidential
Grain Scheme which has been distributing farm inputs exclusively to Zanu (PF) supporters.
The presidential scholarship programme was launched by Mugabe to enable children from disadvantaged backgrounds to get higher education. At its inception Zimbabwean children from disadvantaged backgrounds were going to Fort Hare University in South Africa where Mugabe was educated. It has since been extended to other universities in South Africa and the Far East.