JOHANNESBURG – For years, the Zimbabwe Student Society (ZimSSoc) has operated within its four branches that are spread across institutions in the Gauteng province; namely Wits University, Monash University SA (MSA), the Pearson Institute of Higher Education, and the University of Johannesburg (UJ). Not until recently, the Society formed its first Council at the annual ZimSSoc Congress, which will represent these branches and the Society as a whole.
The ZimSSoc Congress, which was held on the evening of the 2nd of May at Monash University, saw the different branches of the Society meeting together to form this new Council. Dalton Mthombeni, a member of the UJ Parliament, facilitated the Congress and communicated the newly formed Council’s mandate. “What we’re going to come up with in this seating must be a core of the Zim Society,” Mthombeni said. “It must be the one that holds the branches accountable [and] the branches must report to the Council.”
Mthombeni further emphasised the Council as being fully representative of all branches, and not functioning as a branch. “The core is not a branch, don’t confuse it,” he said. “The core is not Wits, MSA, Pearson, UJ, or University of Cape Town [but] the core is this Council here.”
The newly formed ZimSSoc Council consists of eight members. The presidents of the four branches were elected into the Top 4 of the Council, which will function as the Council’s executive. The remaining four Council members are currently named delegates because a constitution that details their portfolios is yet to constructed.
Here are the names of the 2018 ZimSSoc Council Executive:
- Anoziva Gumbie (UJ) – Chairperson
- Rufaro Mandizvidza (Wits) – Deputy Chairperson
- Tinashe Mapisire (Pearson) – Secretary
- Weston Savieri (Monash) – Treasurer
This is not the Society’s first new appointment of leadership, however newly elected Chairperson of the ZimSSoc Council Azoniva Gumbie said this year’s Congress also focused on discussions regarding how the Society can move forward in terms of collective bargaining. “We wanted to form this central committee like a core [of the Society] and this committee will be able to rally more support and more funding for the whole provincial society,” Gumbie said.
“Instead of the various individual branches going to diplomatic events or certain places saying the same thing differently, we would rather be more coherent and have a select group of people who are going to be driving our ideals forward,” said Gumbie.
The Council began setting mandates for itself during the Congress, the first being the addition of more universities into the ZimSSoc. The Council also decided that the Congress should take place twice a year; first during the beginning of the academic year where directives will be set in place for that year, and second towards the end of the year where those directives will be reviewed and a new Council will be elected.