THE closure of the University of Zambia (UNZA) and the Copperbelt University (CBU) by Government was done in the interest of students who had become barbarous and riotous, thereby damaging private and public properties, the Zambia National Students Union (ZANASU) has charged.
ZANASU vice-president Prince Ndoyi said the students who resorted to riotous behavior leading to the closure of UNZA and CBU did not belong to the intelligentsia but were anarchists whose motive was to make the running of the two institutions difficult.
He said in a statement yesterday that had Government delayed in the closure of the two universities, life and a lot of property could have been lost.
Mr Ndoyi said ZANASU was therefore rendering unreserved apologies to President Edgar Lungu and Higher Education Minister Michael Kaingu over the violent behaviour of the students at the two closed universities.
He said ZANASU was also apologizing to the general public particularly people whose properties were damaged by the rioting students in the two universities.
Mr Ndoyi said the riotous behaviour of the students at UNZA and CBU was alien to the ideologies of Christianity and that Zambia being a Christian nation, such kind of evil acts should be condemned in the strongest of terms.
“As much as we appreciate the grounds under which the closure of UNZA and CBU were closed, the action was necessary because it protected and safeguarded lives and properties. We also believe that the closure has gravely affected the academic calendar whose consequence is undeveloped human capital. We are convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that the closure of UNZA and CBU was done in the best interest of the majority of students who could easily have become victims of the violent behavior of fellow disgruntled students,” Mr Ndoyi said. Mr Ndoyi has however called on President Lungu and Dr Kaingu to consider reopening the two institutions, stating that ZANASU was aware that it was a hard decision to make considering the violent behaviour of the students.
“We are asking for forgiveness on behalf of the entire students populace for the conduct exhibited by the students.
We are saying to Government that to error is human and to forgive is divine. We further apologise to Dr Kaingu for the insulting letters students have been writing to his office,” he said.
Mr Ndoyi said ZANASU was deeply saddened by the violent behaviour of students and the eventual closure of the two universities, stating that students had a moral obligation to ensure there was harmony in institutions of higher learning.
“Fighting Dr Kaingu is a sign of weakness in the mind and it is not the best way of resolving issues with authorities. Reasonable people do not resort to rioting but believe in dialogue around the table,” Mr Ndoyi said.