POLICE in Lusaka have arrested 38 UNZA students who took part in a protest on Tuesday night and charged them with riotous behaviour.
Lusaka Province police commissioner Charity Katanga confirmed yesterday that the 38 students were detained at various police stations and will appear in court today.
On Tuesday night, University of Zambia students rioted, demanding that the government increases their bursary allowance due to the high cost of living.
“We cannot take this anymore, how can they expect us to live? Everything has gone up, nama eggs we cannot afford! Bursary allocation increment was last done four years ago but the cost of living has gone up,” said one of the protesting student.
“Secondly, [higher education minister Michael] Kaingu must go! He cannot run this important ministry. He must go. Does he think his threats will run the institution?”
But Kaingu accused the students of being used by the opposition parties to cause despondence and commended police action.
“Police officers are waiting to put law and order where it’s broken, and so when UNZA provides such an opportunity, they will move in brutally because they have not done so in a long time. They will go all the way to find culprits. We won’t allow anarchy and where students want to engage the government, they should use proper channels,” said Kaingu in Parliament.
Confirming the arrest, Katanga said: “They are 38, 17 females and 21 males.
They will appear in court tomorrow (today) and they are charged with conduct likely to cause breach of the peace. There were two of them who complained of about being assaulted and they have been issued with medical report forms. So, that is the position. Others are at Simon Mwansa police, Central police and Chelstone.”
Two of the students detained at Chelstone Police station said they were picked from their hostels where they were sleeping.