The Copperbelt University Academics Union has rejected Higher Education Minister Michael Kaingu’s directive for the University to resume normal operations.
Union President Mwiya Songolo says the go slow at CBU will continue as Professor Ngoma and his management has no academic focus.
Mr. Songolo said in a statement that despite the Report and Recommendations of the Caretaker Committee, Dr. Kaingu’s decision is independent to the recommendations by the committee.
He has since challenged Dr. Kaingu to make the Report and Recommendations of the Caretaker Committee public failure to which the Union will reveal the recommendations through the media.
Mr Songolo has challenged Dr. Kaingu to go ahead and fire all lecturers as there will be no co-existence between them and the current management under Professor Naison Ngoma.
Below is the full statement
COPPERBELT UNIVERSITY ACADEMICS UNION (CBUAU) PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED ON WEDNESDAY, 28TH OCTOBER, 2015
by Mwiya Songolo President – CBUAU
Members of the press, ladies and gentlemen, the Copperbelt University Academics Union (CBUAU), once again, would like to thank you for your continued support throughout this period in which we have passed a Vote of No Confidence in the Copperbelt University Management.
First and foremost, we would like to thank the Hon. Minister Dr. Michael Kaingu, M.P., MMD Vice President, Minister of Higher Education, for showing leadership by informing the Copperbelt University Academics Union (CBUAU) Membership the entire Nation his decision following the Report and Recommendations by the Caretaker Committee, which he himself had constituted to look into the problems of the Copperbelt University and the reasons underlying the CBU impasse.
The Minister has showed courage at long last by stating his position clearly on the matter.
This is how a leader should do things. A leader should never fear to make decisions at the right time.
This decision has been long overdue and should not have waited until students almost got killed during the Independence Day.
This however, does not go to say that we, as Academicians of the Copperbelt University, have accepted the Hon Minister’s decision.
Despite the Report and Recommendations of the Caretaker Committee, Hon Dr Michael Kaingu in his Ministerial statement mentioned that he consulted the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee and the Copperbelt University Chancellor in order to arrive at this decision.
I have to say then that, the constitution of the Caretaker Committee was indeed but a waste of time and tax payers’ money! He has not made his decision based on the report but based on the advice of his colleagues whom he had consulted even that same time when he closed the University. May he now, the Hon.
Minister Dr. Kaingu make the Report and Recommendations of the Caretaker Committee available to the public.
The Honourable Minister said he has found neither evidence nor merit in the issues raised by us, the Academicians of the Copperbelt University.
All we can say is, let the citizens of this country be the judge from the information we shall now begin to share with them through the media.
It is regrettable that the situation has come to this end but we remain resolved to our cause and demands.
CBUAU Press Statement – 28th October 2015 Page 2 In his statement to Parliament, the Hon. Minister Dr Michael Kaingu stated four things:
- That, in consultation with the Chancellor of the University and the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, they have decided that the Vice Chancellor of the Copperbelt University, Prof Naison Ngoma who had been on leave during this crisis should report to duty with immediate effect.
- The entire Management of the Copperbelt University should remain unchanged.
- All members of the academic staff who had decided to withdraw their services are requested to end this illegal action and return to work without further delay. The minister directed that we should go back to work before Friday because if we stayed up to Friday, we would have clocked 10 days and that is an automatic discharge for ourselves. The Minister further said that, if we stayed up to Friday, we will not get any benefits from the Government. The Minister said that they would not accept to be intimated as Government.
- He also regretted the disruption of the academic life of the Copperbelt University and encouraged our students at the university to remain calm as they work towards normal operation of the University.
In view of the above, this is the position of the Copperbelt University Academics Union: If Hon Dr Michael Kaingu wants to fire us, let him fire us all. There will be no co-existence between us and the current management under Prof. Naison Ngoma.
- As Academicians, we will continue to do research and perform administrative duties as usual we will carry on with the go-slow.
- Prof Naison Ngoma and his management have no academic focus and we shall not work under his management. Doing so is accepting mismanagement of the Copperbelt University. Ours is to uphold academic excellence. Therefore, there shall never be co-existence between us as lecturers and Prof Naison Ngoma as Vice Chancellor.
- The minister said that if we do not report for work by Friday, we will automatically discharge ourselves and we will not get any benefits from Government. There is never such a thing like automatically discharging yourself. The moment he decides to give us discharge letters, he should also be ready to pay each one of us, our benefits. Failure to do that, the Copperbelt University will have to pay every ngwee with interest effective Friday, 30th October 2015.
- Come Friday, after receiving the discharge letters, we should respect each other’s decision.
Fighting should come to an end. We go our way and the Minster should remain with Professor Naison Ngoma.