By Mashudu Netsianda
The National University of Science and Technology (Nust) management and lecturers have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to end a crippling strike paving the way for the resumption of lectures.
The MoU was signed on Tuesday between the university management and Nust Educators Association (Nusteda), an organisation representing lecturers, at the eleventh hour when Bulawayo Labour Court judge Justice Mercy Moya-Matshanga was set to deliver a ruling following an application by Nust to declare the strike as illegal.
The university management sought a disposal order in terms of the Labour Act after a show cause order was issued by the Labour and Social Welfare Minister Petronella Kagonye following the collective job action by lecturers citing a number of grievances.
A show cause order requires one or more of the parties to a case to justify, explain, or prove their actions before a court.
According to the MoU signed by the acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Samson Sibanda on behalf of the university management and a Nusteda representative, Mr Alois Muzvuwe, the two parties agreed that the strike should be terminated immediately to allow resumption of lectures.
“At the meeting held in Bulawayo on 26 February 2018, Nusteda and management agreed the way forward as follows:
(I) That Nusteda would terminate the strike immediately and that classes would resume on Tuesday 27 February 2018
(ii) That management would suspend the circular on teaching loads(iii) That the parties would appear before the Labour Court and advise that the matter has been resolved and the strike ended,” reads the MoU.
According to papers filed at the Bulawayo Labour Court, Nust was the applicant while Nusteda was cited as the respondent.
More than 60 Nust students were arrested on Monday before being released after paying a fine of $5 each for “shutting down” the university demanding resumption of lectures after spending a month without lectures.
The students barricaded all the university’s entry points demanding that management and lecturers resolve their impasse.
Chaos outside Nust attracted anti-riot police, who used water cannons to disperse the students resulting in arrests. The Chronicle