The Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) has issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Amon Murwira, threatening a nationwide shutdown and street demonstrations if their call for dialogue is not met.

The students body has raised a number of issues which the government is being implored to address.

Recently, the students protested the steep tuition fee hikes by universities and colleges saying it is an assault on the right to education.

This was after universities in Zimbabwe introduced a system whereby students were being asked to pay 60% to 70% of the fees in United States dollars and the remainder in local currency using the interbank rate.

ZINASU vice-president, Rumbidzai Hlangabeza, said many students were forced to defer or abandon studies altogether.

“This is a burden to hardworking parents and guardians and it also affects access to education. We are sons and daughters of civil servants who are earning peanuts and we cannot afford the tuition fees,” Hlangabeza said.