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JUBA - 2 Jan 2018

Govt promises payment of tuition fees for students in Zimbabwe

File photo: Minister Yiem Oral Lam
File photo: Minister Yiem Oral Lam

South Sudan’s Minister of Higher Education Yien Oral Lam has assured university students on government scholarships who occupied the country's embassy in Zimbabwe recently over unpaid arrears the ministry’s commitment to pay their tuition fees and living expenses during holidays.

Speaking in an interview with Radio Tamazuj today, Minister Yien expressed worry over the delay in payment of the money by the ministry of finance but asked the students in Zimbabwe to be patient as the government works to resolve the issue.

“When I visited Zimbabwe in June last year, we paid $5,000 as the first instalment. Also the cabinet had directed the ministry of finance to release the money needed after the passing of the budget in August, but our budget delayed, it was passed in October,” he said.

“The ministry of higher education also wrote a letter to the finance ministry in August to release the money, but it seems there is a problem of hard currency, “he added.

The government official pointed out that his ministry is following-up on the issue. “When the ministry of finance approves the money, we will pay the money required by the universities in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Yien urged the ministry of finance to expedite the release of the money. The minister pointed out that he will meet with representatives of the affected students in Juba tomorrow morning to discuss the issue.

Last week, South Sudanese university students on government scholarships occupied the embassy in Zimbabwe to put pressure on the government to pay them tuition fees and living expenses.