The Zambia National Students Union (ZANASU) is aware of desperate attempts by some minister who is using former students to ferry selected students to Lusaka to parade them. force them to sign and read out a pre-written statement purporting that students have welcomed the decision by Higher Education Minister Professor Luo to abolish a living allowance for students, when the Minster has no such power to abolish the provision of an Act of Parliament unless by Parliament itself amending the law.
We want to be clear that ZANASU is not opposed to extension to loan scheme to all public and private universities and have been rightly been calling for such a move. We believe the loans are not supposed to be given based on institutions but based on the needs of individual student enrolled in all higher institutions of higher learning. The current arrangement of giving loans based on institutions of learning has been designed to portray it as a privilege and at the mercy of the Minister although the intention of Parliament was to have all students access loans.
We want to be clear that these politicians will find a few student leaders who will be ready to sell their souls by supporting an illegal move to abolish a living allowance for students but we remind these Union leaders that they must remember that posterity will judge them harshly when, generations to come, students from poor families will fail to enrol in these universities because their parents.
The current decision by Government through the Minister of Higher Education will send enrolled students who cannot afford to find meal allowances to engage in bad and immoral vices which include prostitutions and stealing in order to raise money for their meals while studying in our public universities. There is no caring parent who makes such decision to push children into immoral acts at the time when Government is struggling to combat the raising HIV/AIDS pandemic and to ensure our youth are brought up to become responsible citizens.
We are not surprised by the decision by Professor Luo do deny students a living allowance because her decision explains the level of care the Minister has and her views about society generally. We however appeal to other leaders in government including President Lungu who may have a working conscience to look into this matter and reverse it. That stated, ZANASU continues to explore all avenues available to challenge the decision by the Minister to abolish a living allowance, a move that has usurped the power of Parliament to make and unmake laws.
Zambia National Students Union