United party for national Development (UPND) President Hakainde Hichilema has urged the Patriotic Front administration to with immediate effect reopen the Copperbelt University (CBU).
Mr. Hichilema argues that the unjustifiable and perpetual closure of the high institution of learning has led to untold suffering not only of the students, but the lecturers as well.
He says it is uncalled for the PF leadership to continue destructing the progress of education in the country adding that education is an investment whose results lead to economic growth.
He was speaking in Lusaka on Sunday morning.
Mr. Hichilema observes that, being the social equalizer, there was need for frantic strides to be put in place in order for the dream of an educated populace to be actualized.
He states that, being the epitome and centre of civility, it was imperative that education was prioritized.
Mr. Hichilema, who accused the PF regime of neglecting the education sector, demanded for the immediate reopening of the institution.
“The continued closure of Copperbelt University is causing a lot of damage to society. Lecturers are suffering, general workers are suffering; students are suffering; parents are suffering; everybody is suffering because of the inept leadership of the PF”.
“Number one, we demand that the Copper Belt University be reopened, now; it must be reopened immediately. Secondly, we demand that all the student union leaders who have been expelled or suspended must be reinstated without further delay. Thirdly, we confirm that: ‘when our time in office comes, when we take over the country, we will work with the students’ unions and their leaders not the way you work with students’ leaders. Staffs unions, general workers and all the other universities and colleges, we will work with them because only when you work and recognize them will you be able to manage the intellectual environment in a university or in a college,” Mr. Hichilema said.
Mr. Hichilema, who continually talked of education of being a powerful tool to foster creativity and innovation in order to create a prosperous society, said the PF’s poor leadership was costing the country a lot.
“The failure of leadership of PF is costing us a lot. We (when in Government), will also be able to pay students descent meal allowances to help them buy books and be able to have enough food in order for them to be in a learning mode. We will pay lecturers descent allowances including all the non paid retirement benefits or terminal benefits of university or colleges staff,” said Mr. Hichilema.