By Nqobile Tshili
The National University of Science and Technology (Nust) has taken its lecturers to the Labour Court protesting the legality of their industrial action.
Nust lecturers last week on Tuesday went on strike protesting alleged mismanagement of resources at the university.This is the second time the lecturers have gone on strike during the same academic year.
Last September, the lecturers downed tools, raising the same concerns.
National University of Science and Technology Educators’ Association (Nusteda) secretary general Mr Blessing Jona said the matter was now before the courts.
“The union cannot comment right now because the university have taken the issue to a court of law. And the union cannot comment on legal processes,” said Mr Jona.
Nust’s director for communication and marketing Mr Felix Moyo declined to comment on the matter.
He said the case was now being handled at a different level.“I cannot give you a comment on that one. The matter is now at another level, I can’t comment,” said Mr Moyo.
When lecturers went on strike last year, the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development gave the institution two months to resolve the matter.
Last week, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Professor Amon Murwira said the appointment of a substantive Vice Chancellor at Nust would end problems bedevilling the institution.
Prof Murwira said if lecturers were raising concerns about mismanagement of resources, the issue would be addressed upon the appointment of a substantive Vice Chancellor.
Nust has been operating with an acting Vice Chancellor since the late Professor Lindela Ndlovu’s term ended in 2015. Professor Samson Sibanda is the acting vice chancellor.
Prof Murwira said the appointment of a vice chancellor is imminent and urged university management to have candid discussions with lecturers to avoid disrupting lectures.
However, lecturers have argued that the university’s management has not addressed their concerns hence their latest industrial action.
“The strike has not ended but it seems the management wants to try to use the legal route to take us back to the lecture rooms.
“They want to take the matter to the Labour court contesting the legality of our strike. But it’s strange that the management wants to contest same issues that were raised during the first strike. What has changed now for them to claim that the matters we are raising are invalid,” said a lecturer, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Chronicle