Government has attributed the excessive drinking and involvement with Russian girls by Zambian students in Russia as a cause for the battering of Zambian students in that country.
Minister of Education, Science and Technology, John Phiri said the Zambian students have taken the bad drinking culture to that country which is causing them to fight even among themselves.
Dr Phiri has however ruled out any hate related crime by the Russians on the Zambians saying that no Russian was involved in the beating of the three Zambian students.
He said the three Zambian students were battered in St. Petersburg Russia by some foreign students who were working as part time guards at a certain bar in the city after picking a quarrel.
He said four perpetrators have since been arrested adding that the Zambian mission in Russia is waiting for Zambian students who are still in hospital to be discharged or be out of danger before it can take legal action against them.
The Minister described the incident as uncalled especially that the Mission in Russia undertakes orientation programmes on the students including on security.
Dr Phiri said this in a ministerial statement in Parliament on the status of the Zambian students who were battered in St. Petersburg, Russian and updates of riots at Chizongwe Technical High School in Chipata and Chiwala High School in Ndola.
He stated that Zambia has greatly benefited from the cultural exchange with Russian through the awarding of scholarship which now stands at 100 students yearly from about 30 in 60s.
He added that there are currently over 475 Zambian students in Russia 87 alone in St. Petersburg while several others are also studying on self sponsorship.
The three Zambian students who were battered in Russian are Christone and Christopher Bwanga who sustained broken jaws, and Leonard Kawanda who sustained deep cuts on the head and are in hospital.
Meanwhile the Minister has disclosed that the cost of damages pupils from Chizongwe Technical High School in Eastern Province inflicted on the neighbouring Anoya Boys High is K121 million.
Dr Phiri said government will surcharge all the students at the school for the damage to school infrastructure and 19 vehicles which they damaged when they rioted last week.
He said government condemns such acts and blamed it on lack of supervision on the part of teachers who failed to detect the students during planning and walking about 8 Kilometers to go and demolish another school.
He said the ministry will do its own investigations and to see whether there was negligence on the part of administration adding that if proven government will also take action on certain teachers at the school.
Dr Phiri said the decision to close the school was also taken in the interest to safeguard the lives of the students who were at threats from fellow students at Anoya Zulu and residents of surrounding compounds after they took the action.
And the Minister said government will also surcharge pupils from Chiwala High School in Ndola who run amok after the school experienced water problems for five days last week.
He said the pupils went ahead to riot even after school management had assured them of rectifying the problem.
He said government is currently accessing the cost of the damages to surcharge the students.
Dr. Phiri has however advised pupils to use established channels of communications in airing their grievance than resorting to riots.
He said government will soon establish a student’s council where it will be encouraging pupils to dialogue with relevant authority in resolving contentious issues.