LECTURERS at the Copperbelt University (CBU) have vowed that they will not be intimidated by charge letters from the University Council but stick to their position that vice-chancellor Naison Ngoma should leave the institution.
The council has charged more than 200 lecturers with desertion following a three-week strike by the tutors and academic staff who are demanding the removal of Professor Ngoma.
The workers have been given seven days in which to exculpate themselves while Prof Ngoma has been sent on an indefinite leave in a bid to convince lecturers to resume work.
However, the lecturers yesterday held a general meeting where they unanimously resolved not to accept what they termed a temporal measure of sending Prof Ngoma on leave.
CBU Academics Union (CBUAU) acting general secretary Kawunga Nyirenda said the appointment of Dr Shadreck Chama as acting vice-chancellor was not going to change the situation because he was also part of the failed management.
“By appointing Dr Chama as vice-chancellor, the Minister of Education Michael Kaingu is keeping the closure of CBU unnecessarily long,” he said.
Dr Nyirenda said the lecturers were sticking to their stance to have Prof Ngoma together with Dr Chama, Registrar Helen Mukumba, and Bursar Fanwel Musonda removed from their respective positions.
He said not even a reconciliatory tribunal to be set up by the University Council was going to change their course of action.
Dr Nyirenda said it was now clear that even Dr Kaingu had failed to resolve the impasse at CBU and appealed to President Edgar Lungu to intervene before the situation got out of hand.
“We are not doing this for ourselves as lecturers but for CBU and the entire country. We are academicians who are churning out people expected to bring development to this nation and as such we refuse to take part in mediocrity,” he said.
Dr Nyirenda dared CBU management to take any action against any one of the lecturers including dismissal because that would have to be against the whole union membership.
“If they want to dismiss us, we are prepared for that and that will mean the end of CBU,” said Dr Nyirenda.