HARARE diplomats in Algeria Sunday unleashed police on more than 300 Zimbabwean students studying and living in that country after they staged a sit-in demonstration outside the embassy in an effort to have the consulate look into their plight.
One female student was reportedly hospitalised after a scuffle with the Algerian police officers.
The students said they had gone for 15 months without receiving their stipends and their situation had led them into destitution with some working as maids.
They are in Algeria on a presidential scholarship scheme.
According to one representative of the Community of Zimbabwe Students in Algeria, the situation is made worse by the fact that their VISA conditions do not allow them to work.
"But we have no choice and most of us are now working in the construction sites as general workers and house maids because no work permits are needed there," said the student rep who requested not to be named for fear of victimisation.
"Most of the time we have failed to print assignments or to buy other university study material."
Contacted for comment, the embassy official responsible for the students in Algeria, Caleb Mharapara, said the students must come back Monday for a briefing on the way forward about their situation.
Efforts to get comment from Christopher Mushohwe who is now the Minister of State in the President's Office responsible for scholarship were fruitless.
Some of the students urged the new government led by President Emerson Mnangagwa to drop the scholarship scheme and enrol them at local colleges.
"They must bring us back home, the scholarship programme is a disaster," said one student.