THE Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) is facing legal action from students over the issue of increased fees without consultation.
The students’ lawyer has delivered a letter to the institution, demanding a meeting to address the issue. The letter argues that the institution is failing in its administrative duties and that the students have the right to fair, lawful and reasonable administrative conduct.
The students have also expressed their concern about communication between the institution and the National Students’ Representative Council president, which they claim is not legitimate.
The letter urges the institution to engage in alternative dispute resolution and warns that the students will approach the High Court if the issue is not resolved.
“We write this letter intimating to you that your institution is failing its administrative mandate of doing justice to our clients. It is also unfortunate that the events under review are happening amid the existence of an SRC which is appearing to be impotent, failing to shoulder and understand its own responsibilities and statutory mandate.
“Section 68 of the Constitution grants to every person the right to administrative conduct that is lawful, prompt, efficient, reasonable, proportionate, impartial and both substantively and procedurally fair.
“There is nothing reasonable from your excuse of ballooning the fees. The economy must not be your excuse for ballooning fees in any way whatsoever.
“We are also aware of your communications and deliberations with one Takawira, who we understand to be the National SRC president.
“We would like to intimate that any act, resolution, deliberation by you and the said Takawira (outside the knowledge of the whole SRC body or students’ representations) remain void ab initio,” the lawyers wrote to ZOU.
The lawyers demanded a meeting with ZOU’s administration on Monday next week.