TWO of Zimbabwe’s leading student unions yesterday united under the banner “Collective Students Union” and claimed that the United States Embassy in Harare was sponsoring them to engage in demonstrations to provoke State security agents and tarnish the country’s image.
The two unions are the Zimbabwe National Students Union and the Zimbabwe Congress of Students Unions.
Speaking at a media briefing yesterday, one of the student leaders Mr Kumbirai Mutengu said the US Embassy had some black foreigners who coordinated the students’ illegal programmes.
“We would like to share this information based on an encounter that one of us here had with the American Embassy,” he said.
“Let it be known that there is a student desk from which Zimbabwean people are employed by US Embassy to coordinate programmes, together with some black foreigners whom you do not even suspect that they are foreigners.
“At one point, some of us from the opposition-backed student bodies were invited to the Embassy and given a mission to stage a series of demonstrations that were meant to provoke security forces to react and end in clashes that will paint Zimbabwe as an unstable nation and deep in crisis.”
The students would organise and participate in demonstrations in exchange for visas to travel to the United States and scholarships.
“This is the reason why people are concerned over staging petty and dramatic demonstrations that are not even aimed at promoting students’ welfare,” said Mr Mutengu.
The developments come at a time when the US continues to criticise Zimbabwe for alleged human rights abuses when in fact it was reportedly funding fake “abductions”.
Security agents suspect that the embassy harbours some of the people alleged to have been abducted.