THE University of Zambia (UNZA) Council will be forced to close down the institution if minority students on Government sponsorship don’t stop disruptions to the academic calendar, council chairperson Sherry-Anne Thole has said.
And Ms Thole has advised political parties to desist from using students at UNZA and any other learning institution as a platform to further their political agendas.
Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday, Ms Thole said students have been advised to follow procedure in addressing their grievances and challenges affecting their welfare at UNZA.
She said that riots that rocked the university in the past few days emanated from delay in payment of meal allowances to some students on Government bursary, status of the Commonwealth Youth Centre, water and sanitation challenges.
“We appeal to students, in particular the UNZASU executive, to create a conducive learning and teaching environment and avoid any further disruptions to the academic calendar. Should the situation deteriorate to unacceptable levels, senate will have no option but to close the institution with serious consequences,” Ms Thole said.
“There are 24,000 students registered with UNZA. Of this number, only 30 percent are government sponsored, the rest are self-sponsored and closing the university will be the last option,” she said.
Ms Thole said on the night of November 14, riots broke out at UNZA Great East Road campus, resulting in students blocking roads and the police moved in to control the situation and effectively managed to move the students back into campus.
Unfortunately, one student sustained serious injuries and is receiving treatment at the University Teaching Hospital,” she said.
Zambia Daily Mail