National students leaders have joined the Copperbelt University Students in calling on Republican President Lungu to prevail over the decision by the Ministry of Higher Education to indefinitely close the University.
In a statement released this morning, ZANASU Acting President, Steven Kanyakula, has advised that President Lungu’s administration and the Patriotic Front must not be seen to be bent on punishing students with an indefinite closure of the Copperbelt University.
“The Copperbelt University has approximately of 12,000 students out of which less than 200 students participated in the protest that led to closure of the University and as students, we consider the indefinite closure of the CBU as a decision that does not take into account the plight of the majority students who did not participate in the protests but are now being punished,” said Mr. Kanyakula
The ZANASU Acting President has revealed that students have made several attempts to meet the Republican President to discuss matters affecting students since his Minister of Higher Education, Professor Nkandu Luo, has closed doors to any possible dialogue with lawfully recognised student bodies like ZANASU but alleged the President and other senior government officials are too busy with other national commitments to help resolve the impasse and discuss ways that will prevent reoccurrence of incidences that lead to closure of our public universities and colleges.
“We humbly ask President Lungu to take keen interest in what is happening with the CBU and lend even 20 minutes of his precious time to meeting students and management,” said Mr. Kanyakula
He has said ZANASU shall always encourage students to find peaceful and civilised means of seeking redress to their grievances as opposed to riotous behaviour which leads to breaking of public property.
Mr. Kanyakula has further charged that the ultimatum given by Minister of Higher Education to CBU to put in place security measures before the University can reopen is untenable as public universities are financially struggling and failing to even pay lecturers. ZANASU has wondered where the money will come from for CBU to spend in order to meet the laid down conditions.