The reports that the PF government wants to abandon more than 4000 University of Zambia students and consign them into the streets due to lack of money for bursaries; are shameless and a clear lack of priorities.
UPND, still insists on affordable and quality education being a responsibility of any caring government as one of our four pillars in our manifesto that also include agriculture, prudent economic management, and quality health care.
Can the PF be serious for once, and stopped playing ‘donchi kubeba’ on the people of Zambia, especially the youths whose future solely depend on this education they are being denied today by this irresponsible leadership.
Those children, some below 19 years, are adolescents who can do anything, even taking their own lives, once their future is shattered by lack of bursaries. In fact, the PF leaders must be held responsible and accountable for anything bad that will happen to these children a result of being denied a chance to get education due to lack of bursary. In any case, the PF were voted based on their manifesto that among other lies, provides for free education from grade one to university, and gave hope to the majority Zambians.
This PF government has so far been wasting a lot of resources on by-elections being instigated by them. The bloated cabinet, huge delegations to international meetings and other allowances, which would have been used for the education and other social sectors are being wasted.
Further, the PF government removed critical fuel and food subsidies on the promise of serving money for social sectors such as education and health care. What has happened to that money saved from subsidies since the money used on roads is borrowed money which the same youths they are denying bursaries will have to repay in the near future?
We in UPND believe that education is the best inheritance, best equaliser, and is an investment and not a cost and hence should be accessed by all children even those whose benefactors cannot that cannot afford to pay for their education.
In any case, an education bursary is basically a financial instrument that can be structured and arranged in any form such as a grant or a long term loan scheme that can afford children from poor families to access education.
PF should therefore find the money for the youths at UNZA and other learning institutions even through a supplementary budget, like they have been doing for their by-elections, and other wasteful expenditures.