HIGHER Education Minister Michael Kaingu is this week expected to appoint a committee to determine the University of Zambia (UNZA)’s readiness to reopen.
Government closed UNZA and the Copperbelt University (CBU) on February 3, this year, following days of violent demonstrations by students over delayed payment of meal allowances.
Dr Kaingu, however, announced in Parliament that the two institutions were scheduled to reopen on April 10, this year, subject to meeting conditions that Government set to both managements.
Among some stipulated conditions were, strict enforcement of the use of students’ identity cards and installation of floodlights, security cameras and provision of communication radios to security officers.
Higher Education public relations officer Chiselwa Kawanda disclosed that Dr Kaingu was expected to unveil a committee this week to determine UNZA’s readiness to reopen.
Ms Kawanda said in an interview that the committee would strictly determine the fulfilment of the benchmarks set by the ministry before the reopening day.
“The minister (Dr Kaingu) is expected to announce a committee either tomorrow (today) or on Tuesday this week to determine UNZA’s readiness to reopen and see if all conditions set up have been met,” she said.
Ms Kawanda said the establishment of a committee to oversee the fulfillment of the benchmarks for UNZA was similar to that of CBU.
Government last week appointed a five-member committee to determine the CBU’s readiness to reopen.
The committee members were Higher Education Permanent Secretary Owen Mgemezulu, bursaries committee secretary Ireen Chirwa, Kitwe District Commissioner Chanda Kabwe, the CBU chaplain and Copperbelt Police chief Charity Katanga.
The committee would prepare a report and recommendations to Government on whether the two universities had fulfilled the conditions and were ready to reopen.