By Eye Radio
South Sudanese students on government sponsorship in Zimbabwe have camped at the embassy in Harare, demanding the government clear their university arrears worth 1.4 million U.S dollars.
The 75 students who recently completed their course from various Universities in Zimbabwe camped at the embassy, paralyzing activities of the embassy on Friday.
The students say they could not return to the country because Zimbabwean universities have refused to release their academic documents after the South Sudan government failed to clear outstanding university fees.
“We are demanding for food and upkeep and we are demanding the government to clear the arrears of $1.4 million which the President has directed the Ministry of Finance this year in June to clear in order for our students to get their transcripts,” James Maluac, one of the students said.
“That is our fight and that is the reason why we shut down the embassy, we need the government to clear that arrears.”
When contacted by Eye Radio, an official at the Harare embassy could not comment on the matter.
The Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hakim Edward could neither confirm, nor deny the closure of the embassy.
“I can’t tell you anything about that and maybe we will get back to you. We don’t have any details, we will get back to you,” Hakim told Eye Radio on Friday.
In June, some students occupied the premises of the South Sudan embassy forcing its closure.
Some of them returned to the country without certificates and transcripts due to unpaid tuition fees by the government of South Sudan.
In January this year, the Council of Ministers instructed the Minister of Finance Salvatore Garang to pay the fees and allowances of all the students on government scholarships.