TIZ requires evidence to lobby for prosecution of bursary officials

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Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) says it cannot lobby for the arrest and prosecution of the Bursary committee members for alleged corrupt practices due to lack of evidence.


TIZ Executive Director Goodwell Lungu told ZANIS in a telephone interview today that the local chapter of the international anti-corruption movement has not received evidence from the general public to pursue the matter.


Mr. Lungu said it was up to the general public to come forward and present evidence in order for TIZ to launch a campaign to hold the bursary committee accountable to the Zambian students and people.


He pointed out that his organisation’s advocacy and campaigns against corruption related issues were evidence based and as such can only pursue corruption charges once proof has been availed.


He said there was however need to have a transparent system that accounts for how the committee arrives at selecting students for bursary.


Mr. Lungu said the bursary scheme in its current format was susceptible to abuse because it lacks a clearly defined mechanism of selecting and awarding bursary to deserving students.


The bursary committee has recently come under fire from the public for allegedly failing to fairly administer bursaries to students at the University of Zambia (UNZA).


This alleged unfairness led to the death of a 19 year old first year student Musanka Mukwamba who committed suicide after being denied bursary.


The Ministry of Education has since announced that the bursaries committee will be transformed into a loans board that will manage the new loan scheme on a revolving fund basis.


Minister of Education John Phiri recently told the National Assembly that a total of K154.9 million was needed to sponsor all the 6,000 first year UNZA students.


Dr. Phiri attributed the bursary predicament to the introduction of new academic programmes and increased enrolment at the country’s highest learning institution.