The ruling PF says students who got loans from the government have a moral and legal obligation to pay back.
This is after the Higher Education Authority issued a public notice last week that all former students who obtained loans from the Authority from 2014 upwards should start paying back this year at a 15 percent interest rate.
Many stakeholders and former students have since condemned the move saying there is no way they can pay back the loans since most of them are still unemployed after graduating.
PF Deputy Media Director Antonio Mwanza said it is illegal and immoral for students to fail to pay to pay back their loans.
“If you got a student loan, it is only morally and legally correct that you pay back. A loan is not a bursary. It must be paid back. The conditions of the loans and the repayment mode are very elaborate,” Mr Mwanza said.
Mr Mwanza who is also Former UNZASU President said the loan scheme was pushed by student leaders who realised how corrupt, limited and inaccessible the Bursary Scheme was.
“Many people couldn’t access bursaries due to insufficient funds from government, the overly – centralised nature of the Bursary and sheer corruption hence we who were concerned with giving every deserving student a right to education fought for the scrapping off of the Bursary and the introduction of the loans to increase access and stump out corruption,” he said.
He said student loans are a common and effective way of helping the larger constituent of students, access higher education hence it is the most practiced form of sponsorship the world over.
“Student loans are meant to act as revolving funds to help create opportunity and sponsorship for the next generation of students, hence those who get loans must repay to create for others the same opportunity Government created for them,” he said.