UNIVERSITY of Zambia (UNZA) researcher Choolwe Beyani has defended himself against Professor Mwansa Nyambe’s assertions that it was wrong for him to continue giving out political opinions which were biased towards the UPND because he was working for a public institution.
Reacting to Prof. Nyambe’s column in the Daily Nation castigating him for taking sides in his political opinions yet serving UNZA as a researcher, Dr. Beyani said Prof. Nyambe was misguided.
He said it was sad that Prof. Nyambe had failed to realise that there was nothing wrong with an individual serving a public institution to offer opinions that were based on facts but had opted to challenge him over his research and analysis of the political atmosphere in the country.
He said as much as he was a researcher at UNZA, Dr. Beyani had always categorically identified himself as a UPND member each time he made a political analysis or opinion and wondered how that infiltrated the integrity of UNZA which he had never used to make a statement that was political in nature. He said there was nothing wrong for him to give an analysis on political matters simply because he supported the UPND as he was guided by the university Act which did not bar any researcher from making a political research or opinion to any of its researchers.
He said it was sad that a person claiming to be a professor had failed to articulate simple matters that bordered on provisions for carrying out a research on a given matter and making an opinion based on available information.
Dr. Beyani said that each time he made a statement regarding the political atmosphere in the country, he had always identified himself as a UPND member and wondered how that brought the image of UNZA into disrepute.
“Just by looking at his name and the fact that he does not want to be identified by putting his contacts on the articles he has submitted, I can tell that he is just some fake professor without any credentials because the fact that I serve UNZA and at the same time belong to a certain party does not mean that I cannot make a political research and opinion.
“UNZA operates under the university Act which give a mandate to its researchers to give an opinion on various issues and for him to issue out statements which border on political mischief by saying that I have no right to talk about political matters or criticise the party in power simply shows that the institution which trained him is questionable because these are basic issues of research which one with the credentials he is claiming to have should understand better,” Dr. Beyani said.
He said the fact that he was a UPND member did not blind him into making opinions which were not backed by facts adding that he could not be held responsible for Prof. Nyambe’s ignorance or blind loyalty because the law did not bar him from doing so as he had the right to make opinions based on facts which others were free to challenge as long as they did not argue blindly. In the past two articles that have been published by the Daily Nation, Prof. Nyambe has accused Dr. Beyani of using his position as UNZA researcher to make political opinions aimed at swaying public opinion towards the UPND by criticising the ruling party.