STUDENTS in higher institutions of learning who will choose to be used by some opposition political parties to cause instability in universities and colleges should be ready to face the consequences of their actions, Higher Education Minister Michael Kaingu has warned.
He said some opposition political parties had failed to attract support for their ideologies and messages and had resorted to using students in institutions of learning to cause anarchy in the country as a means of winning popularity.
Dr Kaingu told the Daily Nation in an interview that Government was fully aware that some opposition political parties were involved in fanning insurgency in the country through sponsored students’ riots and violent conduct but warned that such students would face the consequences of their actions.
He said that known opposition political parties were campaigning and distributing their campaign materials in universities and colleges to boost their chancess of winning the general elections.
Dr Kaingu said he was sympathizing with the students whose studies were being affected as a result of their involvement in riotous and violent behaviour which he said was inimical to the learning environment in schools.
He observed that what was surprising was that such political insurgency by students was only common in public universities which were being funded by the Treasury with most of the students being sponsored by Government under the bursaries scheme.
Dr Kaingu said it was unacceptable for the opposition political parties to take the vulnerability of students to incite them into getting involved in violent behavior, stating that such political parties were not worthy the vote of Zambians.
“The opposition political parties have failed be attractive in both their ideologies and messages and have resorted to using students in universities and colleges to cause anarchy in the country.
‘‘Often times, students do not have good reasons for engaging in riotous and violent behaviour. We know that some of the riots in universities such as the one at the Copperbelt University are politically sponsored.
‘‘But I sympathize with the students because the people funding them have already completed their education and would have nothing to lose if those they are sponsoring are going to be expelled,” Dr Kaingu said.
Dr Kaingu said President Edgar Lungu’s advice to the students in institutions of higher learning was timely, warning that sooner rather than latter, those sponsoring confusion in universities and colleges would be dealt with by the law.
Dr Kaingu said violence and riotous behaviour was not the best way of communicating grievances and advised that students should learn to follow proper channels if they got aggrieved.