Minister of Higher Education, Nkandu Luo says the University of Zambia and the Copperbelt University will remain closed due to poor sanitary conditions until they are certified safe to open by qualified public health officers.
Prof. Luo said government wants to ensure that the two institutions are safe for the students before they can be opened.
She however said government is taking the opening of the two institutions as an urgent matter because further delay in opening is denying the institutions from catching up with their academic calendar.
Speaking after touring sanitation facilities at the Copperbelt University today, Prof. Luo said a lot of work still needs to be done at the institution despite some of the facilities being ready.
And commending on demands by Copperbelt University Students Union leaders that the institution should open immediately, Prof. Luo said COBUSU has no qualification in Public Health to declare CBU safe to open.
She stated that it was important for people to realize that life is important and to stop looking at things at a personal but national level.
“It just takes one student to bring Cholera and the disease would affect the thousands of students at the institution,” she said.
Prof. Luo reiterated that she will allow squatting at the two public universities but the two institutions will instead work on modalities to increase the bed spaces for students.
She pointed out that squatting is illegal and that it was overloading the existing sanitation facilities that that are meant for only a few students.
And Prof Luo disclosed that students will be given the Cholera vaccine as they open so that they will be protected from the disease.
The University of Zambia and the Copperbelt University have not be been allowed to open as schools open on Monday next week due to poor sanitary conditions.