Friday, May 24, 2024

UNZA Mourns Margaret Chibesakunda Who Was Tragically Electrocuted

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Margaret Chibesakunda

The University of Zambia (UNZA) cancelled all classes for Thursday, allowing students to bid farewell to Margaret Chibesakunda, a 22-year-old third-year Business Administration student who tragically lost her life on April 6th.

Chibesakunda met her untimely demise after being electrocuted while attempting to charge her phone in her dormitory room. The circumstances surrounding the incident remain unclear, prompting police to initiate an investigation. Meanwhile, UNZA’s management has assured students of their safety as inquiries continue.

Hundreds of UNZA students gathered at Lusaka’s Cathedral of the Child Jesus to pay their respects to Chibesakunda. The funeral service, which followed a burial ceremony at Lusaka’s memorial park, drew profound emotions from those in attendance. However, body-viewing was not permitted during the service.

The tragic incident has sparked an outpouring of grief within the UNZA community and beyond. Cheelo Katambo, the deputy media director of the ruling UPND, emphasized the need for UNZA’s management to address the circumstances leading to Chibesakunda’s death. Additionally, Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba, the Patriotic Front Chairperson for Information and Publicity, condemned the state of infrastructure at the university, highlighting issues such as poor hostel conditions, inadequate water and sanitation facilities, and unsafe electrical connections.

UNZA students have voiced concerns over the safety of electrical connections on campus, warning that more tragedies may occur if action is not taken. Among their demands is the dismissal of John Munkombwe, the Dean of Student Affairs, as they call for accountability and improvements to prevent similar incidents in the future.

As the UNZA community mourns the loss of Margaret Chibesakunda, the tragedy serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of prioritizing student safety and addressing infrastructure shortcomings within educational institutions.

UNZA students march in solemn solidarity to the funeral of Margaret Chibesakunda
Burial Service of Margaret Chibesakunda

12 COMMENTS

  1. Very sad indeed. University of Zambia is not the same institution where inenjoyed my free education. We had student allowances. Free books. Free education under Dr. Kennet Kaunda. We had nice hostel accommodation with water and electricity.
    But when these thieves came into power the even started stealing and selling electric cables. I wonder why Zambians even waist time to to the airport to worship and dance for these criminals who even refuse to review their assets. Knowing that it came from thefts from nationalization. No wonder the Malawian Jonathan Mutawari (Edgar Lungu) is fighting for power again to continue where he stopped with stealing.

  2. Tragic loss of a future leader, mother and everything good. The nation has lost. The challenge with many public institutions and infrastructure is maintenance. We have a very terrible culture on maintenance. Additionally, public institutions are congested. UNZA rooms are now being occupied by 6, when they were designed for 2. Let us address these basics

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    • Well said, Doug. I cringe whenever I see a newly commissioned infrastructure project, and immediately look at it a few months down the line predicting its fallout. This is why I find it amusing that roads that should be maintained are “inaugurated” when they are resurfaced, widened, or even improved of black spots. It seems to be an African problem generally.

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    • But muli fipuba.
      Those are Electrical Engineering Students, and can’t even do wiring of dormitories??
      I never pay for fixing cars because I just go at a nearby college and leave it there for week and students play with it. And come out like new.
      Do same to maintenance of everything. Students students. Just ask for material.

    • The culture comes from government and the attitude of “nivaboma” plus the thievery. Private or commercial infra-structure is well maintained. Just an example: The Pamodzi and Intercontinental Hotels were built much earlier than say the Mass Media Complex but look at those buildings and see which ones are dilapidated. All government owned infra-structure is never maintained. Government officials and politicians are quick to celebrate the opening of these infra-structure and then they wave goodbye to the project. Just visit Freedom House-it has already started decaying but noone is worried.

    • @Kalok, the question of roads is one that we have to fix otherwise they will continue to bankrupt us. We have a good road network, but we have terrible pavements. We use asphalt slapped on top of the road bed surface our roads. As soon was gets between the road the asphalt, it take aways some of the soil leaving chunks of asphalt more hanging loosely. We need an iron and steel industry in Zambia. With steel we can put steel reinforcement on top of the road bed, and pour concrete onto the steel grid to make make a steel reinforced road that lasts for decades. This how they make roads in the US. Unfortunately, Frederick Chipuba sold the highly profitable Chilanga Cement to an Italian. TIKA which to produce steel never materialised.

  3. Again, any electrical engineer who knows anything will tell you that a USB adapter, the thing that everyone has in his pockets, has some of the most dangerous household technology. The mains voltage, which is anywhere between 2020 and 240 volts, is rectified immediately to 316-345v DC at the entrance to the device, before it is fed into a chopper circuit. If the case is cracked, loose it or the isolation gap between the secondary and the primary side of the circuit is breached, the adapter can kill you.

  4. If Zesco was providing dangerous voltage levels, more Zambians, to say nothing of UNZA students, would be dying of electrocution. The fact that she alone died suggests that used a dangerous device. These USB adapters are inherently dangerous. Add on to this a multiplicity of unscrupulous manufacturers out there, trying make a quick financial killing, by peddling subpar devices, you have a perfect recipe for disaster. This Hungarian electrical engineer has been exposing dangerous USB adapters for many years: https://youtu.be/pYasc-9BKGg

  5. The Student Union should demand access to the results of the Routine Electrical Fixed Wiring Testing for the University Electrical Infrastructure.

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