The Ministry of Higher Education has questioned the integrity and morality of some of the students in the country.
The Minister of Higher Education Hon. Prof Nkandu Luo said this in a speech read on her behalf by the Director for Technical Education at the Ministry Dr Alex Simumba who officiated on her behalf at Zambia National Students Union(ZANASU) National Congress held at Mika Lodge last Saturday in Lusaka.
And former ZANASU President Humphrey Mwenya has called on the newly elected members of the ZANASU Executive to ensure that they raise above partisan politics and represent not only the interest of students in the country but that of the voiceless in society.
Dr Simumba said students leaders in the country are failing to stand for what they are elected for because the get entrenched into partisan politics.
He said the role of student leaders is not to advocate for politicians but to stand up for what is right not only on behalf of their fellow students but for society as a whole.
He said students should remember that they represent a national concept of leadership hence the need for them to remember that they are expected to learn from their privilege and take up the mantle as national leaders in future.
Meanwhile Dr Simumba called for civility in the way students address their grievances saying resorting to violence was not the best way to address their challenges. He said he wondered how breaking property was the best mode of expressing one’s self.
He said the notion that students are only heard when they break public or private property should neither be tolerated nor supported by any well meaning leader as that is detrimental to the development of the country.
He said when students break public property then they are breaking their property and that damaging private property has the same result as doing so entails that you are damaging property that belongs to their sisters, brothers, mothers or indeed other family members.
He said with the advancement of technology students have many ways to express their feelings through modern channels such as social media.
He urged students to discuss and be practical in the way they address their challenges.
He also bemoaned the low participation of female student leaders saying that has a negative impact on the national leadership where there is low numbers of female leaders.
He further said leaders should have a heart for the country and ensure that they help develop the country, there is a need for empathy in today’s leaders.
He also assured the students across the country saying “as a ministry we would like to assure all students in the country through ZANASU that we are alive to the challenges you are going through, and we are equally committed to deal with them even with the limited resource envelop.”
Meanwhile former ZANASU President Humphrey Mwenya called on students to put the interest of the students first.
He said there is a tendency by those with a privilege to lead others to engage in vices which are designed to weaken unions such as taking bribes from politicians so as to advance their cause.
He said the students were too young to engage in corruption and that they should remember that they speak for the voiceless mothers and fathers who had no opportunity to step in the classroom.
He said the student leadership is in need of leaders who will not only point out wrongs but those who will commend the efforts of government when it is necessary.
This Congress which was favourably attended by 200 delegates from tertiary institutions cut across the country, marked the end of the Humphrey Mwenya and Prince Ndoyi led executive.