Leonard Ncube/Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporters
STUDENTS at Lupane State University on Sunday protested against the university’s decision to force them to share rooms following the completion of the institution’s relocation process to its main campus in Lupane.
The students argued that up to four people sharing a room was not conducive for higher and tertiary students as it would affect their study environment.
More than 200 students from the Department of Development Studies moved to the university’s campus site on Sunday only to discover that the institution had not provided adequate accommodation for them.
The students sang protest songs with some of them accusing the university’s dean of students, Mr Honest Ncube, of incompetence.
“When we arrived in Lupane we were told that each room will accommodate four students. We refused and they reduced the number to three which we couldn’t allow because the rooms are meant for two people. But they forced us into those rooms,” said one of the students.
“To make matters worse, both males and females were squeezed into one hostel where we are supposed to share three toilets and seven showers.”
The students said strangely the same rooms belonged to some of the students who are returning from semester break next week.
LSU’s director for communication and marketing Mr Zwelithini Dlamini said there was adequate accommodation for students.
He admitted that the accommodation may not be conducive for university students, saying it was a stop- gap measure as they wait to construct other hostels.
“There are two hostels, only one was occupied by both males and female students. Accommodation for students is not quite an issue. As they receive more groups, they may increase the number of occupants per room,” he said.
“It might not (be conducive) but it’s a stop-gap measure while additional accommodation is being put in place. The pressure is coming from the expectation that the main campus should be fully functional.”
Mr Dlamini blamed the continuous students’ protests on the university’s failure to communicate properly with interested parties.
“I think it was more of communication issues where our communication has not been at its best. That is one challenge we had but the relocation programme has been in place. It’s the communication aspect that we are working on,” said Mr Dlamini.
Two weeks ago students at the university staged another protest as they complained about the accommodation issue.