By Antonio Mwanza
Every time there is a salary delay at UNZA, everyone blames Government. But, is it the responsibility of the Government to pay salaries to UNZA lecturers?
HERE ARE THE FACTS
The University of Zambia, just like any other university in Zambia is established by the Higher Education Authority Act.
According to the Act, it is the duty of the University Council and NOT Government to pay salaries and emoluments to all university employees, lecturers inclusive.
The government’s responsibility is to provide a grant to the university which is appropriated by Parliament. It is up to the University Council to decide how that grant must be used.
The Act clearly explains whose responsibility it is to fundraise and pay salaries to UNZA employees and I quote:
(1) The funds of a public higher education institution shall consist of such money as may— (a) be appropriated by Parliament for its purpose; (b) be paid to the public higher education institution by way of fees, subscriptions, contributions, grants or donations; and (c) otherwise vest in, or accrue to, the public higher education institution.
(2) A public higher education institution may, with the approval of the Minister, accept money by way of grants or donations from any source in or outside Zambia.
(3) A public higher education institution may borrow, by way of loan or otherwise, such sums as it may require for meeting its obligations and discharging its functions under this Act
(4) There shall be paid from the funds of a public higher education institution—(a) money necessary for the performance of its functions under this Act; (b) the salaries, allowances, and loans for its employees.
(6) A public higher education institution may, with the approval of the Minister, invest in such manner as it may determine, any of its funds which it does not immediately require for the performance of its functions.”
THIS IS THE FINANCIAL SUPPORT GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN GIVING TO UNZA
- The government gives UNZA K34 MILLION every month as a grant.
- The government gives UNZA K12 MILLION every year for Research and Development.
- The government gives UNZA K5 MILLION every year to pay retirees
- The government has approved a loan of K200 MILLION for UNZA to clear all its retirees who retired from 2011 to 2017.
APART FROM GOVERNMENT FINANCING, WHAT OTHER FINANCIAL STREAMS DOES UNZA HAVE
UNZA has the largest number of students than any other higher learning institution in this country. Even when you remove the number of students on Government sponsorship, still the number of students on self sponsorship at UNZA far out-number the number of students at any other university or college in this country. Besides UNZA is amongst the most expensive schools in Zambia, meaning that UNZA is making a killing out of Tuition and Examinations Fees alone that they are charging students.
UNZA has largely three streams of students:
a) Regular students
b) Distance Students and
c) Parallel Students, of course, we may include the Part-Time ones.
UNZA has land, farms, nurseries as well as a human resource which it can use as sources of additional revenue.
How much is UNZA getting from Tuition and Examination Fees, East Park Mall, Liempe Farms, UNZA nursery, and all other farms and properties that it has?
I won’t go into the details of how UNZA is being managed or is it mismanaged. For now, I will end here.
The Author is Antonio Mwanza, former member of the University of Zambia Council and former President of the University of Zambia Students Union (UNZASU)