President Edgar Lungu has directed the UNZA administration to do an inventory on people residing in the university accommodation and determine whether they are students and also investigate whether all monies paid by students for accommodation reach the university accounts.
Speaking during the official commissioning of the teaching and learning complex at UNZA yesterday, the President said this stems from disturbing reports indicating that while genuine students, especially those in the first year, are grappling with accommodation issues and many of them living in private homes, some former students still occupy UNZA hostels.
“I have received reports that some students and even former students are renting out accommodation to students who have nowhere to stay. This cannot be allowed to continue. It must be stopped because it borders on criminality,” he said.
He said students are at the university to learn and not to become landlords and therefore hostels belong to the institution hence the administration should be responsible for allocating rooms to students and receive fees.
The Head of State explained that the government has not slackened in completing the construction of student accommodation at UNZA and other public universities which he said were facing inadequate accommodation facilities.
President Edgar Lungu has commended the University of Zambia (UNZA) for generating internal revenue which has been used to fund the construction of the teaching and learning complex.
The construction of the teaching and learning complex gobbled K27 million which was generated through the public-private partnership (PPP) between the University of Zambia and Graduare Properties Limited.
President Lungu said this achievement was an example of what could be realized if government worked together with the private sector to develop the country.
He said it is the desire of government to ensure that all public universities continue operating in a financially sustainable manner and pledged that government will continue supporting all efforts by public institutions of higher learning to ensure that they achieve financial sustainability.
President Lungu revealed that through the Lusaka de-congestion project, government has provided K11 million to fence off and secure the University of Zambia.
The Head of State said it is the desire of the government that UNZA becomes a safe and secure tertiary education institution.
Speaking at the same event, Acting Minister of Higher Education Dennis Wanchinga explained that the two newly build lecture theatres will increase the amount of learning programmes as well as help in effective social distancing to reduce chances of the spread of Covid-19.
Dr. Wanchinga added that the infrastructure will impact positively on the enrollment of students at the university.
And UNZA Vice Chancellor Luke Mumba revealed that the teaching and learning complex has been constructed from funds amounting to K27 million realised from UNZA’s partnership with Graduare properties limited at East Park mall.
Prof. Mumba said in 2013, UNZA entered into a public-private partnership with Graduare Property Development Company limited which saw the development of East Park mall on UNZA land. The mall became operational in 2015.
He said the initiative generates an average revenue of K6 million per annum.
Prof. Mumba further said the teaching and learning complex houses two ultra-modern lecture theatres with a combined sitting capacity of 700 students.
In addition to the two new lecture theatres, the teaching and learning complex houses a board room, two computer laboratories, two tutorial rooms and 28 offices.