Unaware of an outstanding eviction notice due to months of unpaid rent, South Sudanese students in Zimbabwe have been camping and occupying – in protest – the embassy there for over a month demanding payment of their tuition fees, their allowance and, for some civil serving students – their salaries back home.
Saakam has learnt from the landlord – who swears by the goddesses of the Kalahari – that the rent has not been paid for months and all attempts in the form of negotiations, prayer days, national dialoguing and so forth have not positively changed the balance in his local and off-shore bank accounts.
According to the landlord, he was pushed to enact on the eviction after his contacts at the embassy told him they have not been utilizing the premises for the last two months – after the students occupied it – and, as such, the government of South Sudan will not pay for any of the days or months when the embassy was or will be occupied by squatters .
Asked whether he will still rent the building to the tenant-agreement offenders from South Sudan, the landlord said there is always a possibility, provided a few preconditions are met, and the previous agreement – signed in Arusha – is either re-respected, re-negotiated or rejuvenated.
You see, no one likes wars that cause man-made drought and famine to the bank accounts…
Some of the squatting soon-to-be-homeless students – who no longer have a working embassy to call thanks to their actions – have approached the landlord hoping to reach and form a unified front to demand their communal rights from the same offender, and restore dignity to all.
“We are trying to let the landlord let us continue our protest and we shall incorporate his demands into ours… there is no UNMISS here in Harare and we do not have anywhere to go, so we hope he finds it in his heart to do what Jesus would do,” said one of the protesting and hopeful students.
Saakam will continue to update you – as usual.