INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATIONS; POLICE BATTER CBU STUDENTS

FIVE students from the Copper Belt University (CBU) were yesterday apprehended and detained at the Kitwe Central Police Station after a fracas which ensued when students went to the city square in the city centre demanding to be addressed by Chief Government Spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili who was officiating at the 51st Independence Celebrations in Kitwe

Copper belt Police Chief Joyce Kasosa confirmed the detention of the five students at the Kitwe Central Police Station when they attempted to cause confusion at the 51st Independence Celebrations in Kitwe and have been charged with conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace.

“Yes, I can confirm that police in Kitwe have arrested and detained five CBU students at Kitwe Central Police Station for trying to cause confusion at the 51st Independence Celebrations in Kitwe and have been charged with conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace,” Ms Kasosa said.

The more than 60 students arrived at the City Square around 10:00 hours with placards demanding that government intervenes into the problem at CBU where lecturers have gone on strike.

But the students who, were perceived to have come with a motive of creating confusion and disrupting the 51st Independence Anniversary Celebrations were sent scampering, while others were beaten up by the State Police.

This happened after Mr Kambwili laid his wreath in remembrance of the fallen freedom fighters and was inspecting a guard of honour.

The students resisted and demanded to be addressed by Mr Kambwili who could not say anything but watched haplessly as the police exerted ‘minimum’ force on the students.

The students were demanding that government intervenes into the problem at CBU where lecturers have gone on strike because Education Minister Michael Kaingu has taken long to act on the findings of the Caretaker Committee which he tasked with the mandate to look into the affairs of CBU and the conditions that created the impasse which led to the closure of the institution.

The lecturers resolved to go on strike two weeks on October 19 after giving Dr Kaingu an ultimatum for him to act on recommendations contained in the report by the caretaker committee submitted almost a month ago.

CBU Academics Union (CBUAU) president Mwiya Songolo said the lecturers had implemented their resolve to go on strike which they made when they issued a five-day ultimatum to the Education Minister.

Mr Songolo said the lecturers would only resume work after the minister acts on the findings of the Caretaker committee, adding that they remained resolved on their demands to have a new management at CBU, which would set the stage for improved education standards at the university.

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