UNZA students are currently mobilizing at monk square
UNZA students are mobilizing at monk square
THE Zambia National Students’ Union (ZANASU) has revealed that political interference partly led to students’ demonstrations at the University of Zambia (UNZA) and the Copperbelt University (CBU).

And University of Zambia Students Union (UNZASU) president Jones Mwewa said the union advised students against such demonstrations but they did not listen.

ZANASU president Humphrey Mwenya said at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that the riot was caused by only a few people and that 10 students, as said by Minister of Higher Education Michael Kaingu, cannot cause the 22,000 students at UNZA and more than 13,000 at CBU to suffer.

“We want to agree with the minister that external forces may have been at play, the majority of students on the material days were fully engaged in academic activities and they were just caught up in the fracas when the police stormed the hostels,” Mr Mwenya said.

He said the closure of the two institutions is unfortunate and has disturbed the students’ studies.
The Government closed the two higher institutions of learning last week on Thursday after students rioted over partial payment of meal allowances.

UNZA students who preferred anonymity said they were paid meal allowances amounting to K1, 200 and there was a balance ranging between K600 and K1,100 depending on one’s entitlement. UNZA students get meal allowances ranging between K1, 800 and K2, 200 depending on one’s period of stay on campus.

The students confirmed that they had been paid partly for the three weeks that they had been at the campus, however, the protest was sparked by students who had acquired Mecer laptop computers on credit for K3,500.

When Government made payment into the students’ accounts, the creditor deducted their money directly from the students’ accounts as per agreement, leaving some of them with K100 only or nothing.

President Lungu said Government will not be coerced into re-opening UNZA and CBU until students show maturity in their approach to issues.

And Mr Mwenya said it is important that Government and the students at the two universities dialogue on the matter of allowances instead of resorting to closing the institutions.

He said the issue of students’ allowances will always pose a challenge if Government does not ensure smooth flow of credible and reliable information.

“High learning institutions are a very cardinal aspect in national development and Government should address matters affecting students without delay as doing so is the source of student strife,” Mr Mwenya said.

He appealed to Government to open the two highest institutions of learning to preserve funds that have already been paid to students as it remains a cost for both Government and students.

Mr Mwenya has also called on Government to speed up the introduction of student loans, saying this will help curb student riots.

He said Government must also enhance the communication channels and ensure coherence to the promises made to students.

“The police must also have better ways of curbing protests because our experience is that they actually fuel violence when they come in with maximum force extending to the hostels,” he said.

And Mr Mwewa, the UNZASU president, alleged that the protest was not entirely carried out by students but that other residents in the university surroundings participated in the fracas.

Mr Mwewa said he was pleased that no damage was caused to motor vehicles and other property.

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15 COMMENTS

    • They claim to be a peaceful political party, but one of their member was instrumental in beating up a police officer at CBU and got his helmet and teargas canister.

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  1. Truth is President Lungu and his minions have failed to find a solution to the problems at UNZA & CBU. Edgar by his own admission is weeks and has no vision. What would you expect from a leader with such attributes?

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    • Upnd are 100%guilty of the fracas at the unis. HH will do anything now to win him a vote to state house. His silence on the matter is proof enough he initiated and sponsored innocent students to riot.

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    • @HH Techilema:
      You are just a jealous Ae.sewhore!! Just PAY the stufents and shut up you mother fu.cker!! Did HH stop Lungu from paying the students?? They are entitled to it. Such a small amount surely Lungu cant even pay it – what about teachers salaries then?

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  2. MULI FIPUBA AND VERY BRAINLESS BAICE. HOW CAN YOU FOOLISHLY THINK ELECTIONS’ DESPERATE BRIBES FROM THE OPPOSITION PARTIES WOULD BE PERMANENT? SO, YOU ARE AT UNIVERSITIES WITHOUT EVEN A GRAIN OF BRAINS TO ANALISE EVEN THINGS AS STRAIGHT FORWARD AS BEING FOOLED BY OPPOSITION PARTIES? WHEN YOU BUY LAPTOPS ON CREDIT/HIRE PURCHASE (NOT FOR SERIOUS RESEARCH BUT POSE), DO YOU REALLY THINK RETAILERS WILL NOT RECOVER THEIR MONEY? SO, IF THE GOVT DECIDES TO OPEN THE TWO UNIVERSITIES TODAY WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO GET RATION MONEY? BECAUSE THE GOVT WILL NOT PAY FOR WHAT HAS BEEN PAID FOR ALREADY. TROUBLE IS EVERYTHING IS PAID FOR YOU FOR FREE. IF YOU WERE PAYING FOR EDUCATION YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN RESPONSIBLE. SINCE YOU ARE BRAINLESS YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW THAT THAT’S TAX-PAYERS’ MONEY YOU USE. YOU…

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  3. MULI FIPUBA AND VERY BRAINLESS BAICE. HOW CAN YOU F00LISHLY THINK ELECTIONS’ DESPERATE BRIBES FROM THE OPPOSITION PARTIES WOULD BE PERMANENT? SO, YOU ARE AT UNIVERSITIES WITHOUT EVEN A GRAIN OF BRAINS TO ANALISE EVEN THINGS AS STRAIGHT FORWARD AS BEING F00LED BY OPPOSITION PARTIES? WHEN YOU BUY LAPTOPS ON CREDIT/HIRE PURCHASE (NOT FOR SERIOUS RESEARCH BUT POSE), DO YOU REALLY THINK RETAILERS WILL NOT RECOVER THEIR MONEY? SO, IF THE GOVT DECIDES TO OPEN THE TWO UNIVERSITIES TODAY WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO GET RATION MONEY? BECAUSE THE GOVT WILL NOT PAY FOR WHAT HAS BEEN PAID FOR ALREADY. TROUBLE IS EVERYTHING IS PAID FOR FOR YOU, FOR FREE. IF YOU WERE PAYING FOR EDUCATION YOU COULD HAVE BEEN RESPONSIBLE. SINCE YOU ARE BRAINLESS YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW THAT THAT’S TAX-PAYERS’ MONEY YOU USE…

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  4. What the student leader Jones Mwewa is saying has some ring of truth. When the disturbances started, I went for my lecture as usual. All my students showed up. But then we heard a lot of noise and in came a few masked students who disrupted my lecture, forcing my students to disperse. I was informed by my students that the students behind the chaos were being funded by opposition parties. The names frequently mentioned were those of GBM and Miles Sampa who students claimed had brought thousands of kwacha to campus. Others involved as ring leaders were students who got Mecer laptops on credit and had a lot of the money deducted from their bursaries, leaving them virtually broke.

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    • DO YOU COMMUTE FROM AMERICA ON A DAILY BASIS TO COME AND LECTURE IN ZAMBIA? THEN THE TWO UNIVERSITIES HAVE VERY GOOD SALARIES. GOOD FOR YOU MR LECTURER.

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  5. IT IS ALSO A WONDER ON THE PART OF GOVERNMENT WHY IT IS TAKING TOO LONG TO INTRODUCE STUDENT LOANS. BECAUSE WITH A LOAN TO PAY NO ONE WANTS TO STAY AT UNI LONGER THAN NECESSARY. I CAN’T UNDERSTANDS WHY ALL ZAMBIA’S GOVTS HANG ON TO OLD WAYS OF DOING THINGS EVEN WHEN THERE ARE EFFECTIVE WAYS OF SOLVING PROBLEMS- SUCH AS STUDENT LOANS.

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  6. WE ALL KNOW THAT MWENYA HAS BEEN PAID TO PEDDLE THIS LIE AND PROPAGANDA. MWENYA HAS ALSO BEEN PROMISED A NIGHT WITH IRIS AT NEW RES!!!!! ATASE WHAT A MANGUAM!!!!

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  7. Ita good Zambians know them. We know their plans but thank God they will go nowhere. look at thier comments. Lungu continue being humble and God fearing

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  8. @Peter:
    Do your brains really work? Or you are simply yapping with your mere seat on the pants ideas without seriously analysing issues!!
    Students Loans WILL NEVER WORK in Zambia. The Govt knows that most of the students will never get FORMAL Employment to repay the loans – so how do you think this will ever work. Zambia is not Britaing where most of you work as Toilet Cleaners and women as part time escorts!!

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