THE police will institute investigations to establish the sponsors of riots at universities and college and sternly deal with them, Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja has warned.
Mr Kanganja told Daily Nation yesterday that the police would not take the matter lightly following information that the riots were politically driven.
He said the police would carry out investigations following Higher Education minister Michael Kaingu’s earlier statement that the riots were being sponsored by politicians.
“If anybody is found wanting we shall deal with them accordingly,” he said.
Meanwhile, spokesperson Charity Munganga said police in Lusaka have apprehended seven people in connection with the National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA) riots on Thursday night.
Ms Munganga said four were apprehended from within the campus while three were arrested by members of the public as they were trying to climb the wall fence.
“We are currently screening them to establish if they were students or not,” Ms Munganga said.
And Evelyn Hone College Students’ Union (EHCOSU) president Madalitso Mvula has said the delay by Government to pay university students their allowances is not a good reason for them to behave in a riotous manner,
He has said students should be grateful that at least they were paid something and did not go empty handed at the end of the month.
Mr Mvula said there was need for a proper procedure to resolve issues between students at the University of Zambia (UNZA) and Copperbelt University (CBU) and Government.
“It’s so unfortunate, in case of the issue of bursaries, students must critically think about this and be as objective as possible before they can lift their lips to condemn the purported delay to make good of what is due to them; they should be grateful that they get something.
“Evelyn Hone College students, despite having this rare privilege of accessing the facility, they hardly cross the busy Church road to disturb public peace over allowances,” he said.
Mr. Mvula said there was need for students to desist from taking to the streets whenever they had issues with Government or management.
He said it was unfair for students to block the busy roads and inconvenience innocent people who were the taxpayers and in turn paid their education bills.
“Students must realise that whenever they block the busy roads as they convene to carry on with their procession, they are inconveniencing the taxpayer. Students are intellectuals and must desist from such behaviour,” Mr Mvula said.
He said there should be a proper grievance procedure which should represent the interest of both parties in a dispute.
Mr. Mvula advised Government to put up long term measures to avoid similar occurrences in future.
“This should be a lesson to Government, whenever the Bursary Committee awards the bursaries to successful applicants, it must initiate a five-year plan for each and every student,” he said.
Mr. Mvula also asked Government to revise its decision to expel students from the two universities.
“The decision to expel students has a negative impact; gone are the days when expelling students from the university were appropriate remedies to restore sanity in the education sector. Government should address issues at the two institutions as soon as possible,” he said.