Students continue to protest over unpaid arrears

By Bullen Bala Alexander

South Sudanese students who graduated in Zimbabwe from 2018 to 2021 have threatened to continue with protests until their demands are fulfilled.

According to the student representative Maker Makur, although the Ministry of Finance had promised to clear the arrears towards the end of this month, they would not stop their protests.

He reported that the Zimbabwean Universities have failed to release their academic certificates of more than 100 South Sudanese students who graduated in different batches from 2018 and 2021 over unpaid USD 1.4 million debts.

Makur disclosed that their protest will continue until the government pays the Zimbabwean arrears and they receive their academic certificates.

“Since last week we have been for peaceful protest, today (Monday) we were briefed by the Undersecretary of Ministry of Finance and he was telling us to be patient and want us to wait until the end of this month which we say our protest will continue until that day comes,” he said.

“As students, we feel like the time for negotiation is over because we have used all talks many times, we used all types of talking including sweet words whether sugary, honeyed, and saccharine even syrupy but nothing worked out so we are fed-up with what our government is doing as a result we will be doing until otherwise,” Mr. Mukur told Juba Monitor exclusively on Monday evening.

He further narrated that the graduates could not find jobs without academic papers since they finished some years back.

“Currently in Juba we are about 107 students who graduated, some since 2018, 2019 and 2021 without their academic certificates staying without jobs since they are not carrying with them,  “Our demand remains the same, we need nothing other than paying Zimbabwean government’s money and South Sudanese graduates (students) receive their certificates,” he added.

He said that the reason as to why the students came up with the idea of protest was to show that they are not happy, they were disappointed and they believe that the only way for them to go about it is protest.

However, he said that “We will continue to be peaceful in our protest unless something goes wrong in terms of how they are approaching us, how they will treat us and how they will ignore us maybe they are going to take us in to problem but for us we will be always peaceful.”

He said until today students failed to understand what the government is after, saying because they like it or not, whether it delays or not, the money is already Zimbabwe’s money, South Sudan government will still pay it unless they are trying to tell us something differently which we are not interested.

“Our question comes like how would our government recover that money without utilizing people who have used that money? As we see things continue to go ugly than before.”

However, Juba Monitor unable to get comments from the Undersecretary’s as his number did not go through.

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