POLICE in Kitwe have arrested over 100 Copperbelt University (CBU) students who ran riot and engaged police in skirmishes in protest over the ongoing strike by lecturers at the institution.
The students blocked Jambo Drive with logs and burning tyres, forcing motorists to find alternative routes for fear of getting caught up in the fracas.
Copperbelt commissioner of police Joyce Kasosa said in an interview that over 100 students were arrested for riotous behaviour in the fracas that lasted over three hours.
“Students from higher institutions of learning are supposed to follow the law when aggrieved instead of engaging in riotous behaviour. The behaviour of the CBU students is unacceptable and we have so far arrested over 100 students,” Ms Kasosa said.
Earlier, police officers were outnumbered by irate students and struggled to restore order before they were re-enforced by the anti-robbery squad.
The situation, however, remained volatile despite the reinforcements as the stone-throwing students forced their passage to Jambo Drive after police officers ran out of teargas canisters.
Copperbelt University Students Union acting president Miselo Mumba said students have run out of patience due to the ongoing strike by lecturers.
“We are tired of being at the institution without learning. CBU is not a hotel where we can be sleeping all the time instead of learning. We want the issue of lecturers to be resolved so that we can start learning.
“Our vacation was extended by one month but we did not do anything. Government should intervene and resolve the issue,” Mr Mumba said.
CBU lecturers have gone on strike to push for the resignation of vice-chancellor Nason Ngoma and the entire management for allegedly mismanaging the institution.