Government has announced that it has withdrawn the payment of meal allowances for students at the Copperbelt University and the University of Zambia.
Higher Education Minister Michael Kaingu revealed that the scrapping off of the meal allowances is meant to pave way for the introduction of the Students Loans and Scholarship Scheme in January 2017.
Dr Kaingu who also disclosed that Government intends to re-open UNZA & CBU on or around the 10th of April 2016.
He said Government is withdrawing meal allowances because the facility has been abused and that it has over the years been a source of unrest at the two universities.
Dr Kaingu however emphasised that Government is not introducing anything because it already does not pay meal allowances at other public universities such as Mulungushi and Mukuba Universities.
He also disclosed this in a ministerial statement in Parliament that the reopening of the universities is conditional.
Dr Kaingu said managements must ensure that the Office of the Dean of Students designs programmes aimed at instilling discipline in students thru social dialogue.
Dr Kaingu revealed that part of the conditions include that management should strictly enforce the use of student’s Identity Cards, installation of security cameras among other measures.
He said all students must be made to sign a commitment form to pledge not to indulge in violent protests.
Dr Kaingu also said that the University that will not meet these conditions will not be re-opened.
He further disclosed that all those that were identified and names submitted to the Ministry as the ring leaders of the violent protests should be expelled
Dr Kaingu said the expulsion will include the students, lecturers and the staff, as their actions are inimical to the academic life of the universities.
He said managements at the universities must surcharge all students who are on Government Bursary for damage caused to property, both public and at the universities.