Students at the University of Zambia (UNZA) and Copperbelt University (CBU) should exercise self-restraint when faced with challenges instead of resorting to violent behaviour, former UNZA students union vice-president Martin Nundwe has advised.
And Mr Nundwe has appealed to Minister of Education Michael Kaingu and President Edgar Lungu to consider reopening the University of Zambia (UNZA) and Copperbelt University (CBU).
Mr Nundwe has also appealed to the law enforcement agencies to carryout authentic investigations as to what was causing the riots and demonstrations at higher learning institutions to find a lasting solution.
He said from time in memorial, demonstrations and riots at UNZA and CBU were seemingly part of the academic life which was very unfortunate and avoidable.
“The cause has been usually centred around student allowances for those under Government sponsorship, this is something the Government can actually avoid by simply introducing the student loan scheme, not only will the loan scheme benefit the students but also the institutions these students are enrolled from and the government because eventually this becomes a revolving fund,” Mr Nundwe said.
He advised the students at the two institutions of learning to refrain from riots especially over allowances.
Mr Nundwe said students should entrust their union leadership to fight their battles through dialogue.
“Riots negatively affect the ranking of the universities, disturb possible partnerships with other universities and cooperating partners and also give a bad impression of the institutions to prospecting foreign students,” he said.
Mr Nundwe stated that riots were causing disturbances to motorists and road users, adding that the fraction of students on Government sponsorship could be compared to those on self-sponsorship who actually paid high tuition fees and had to survive without Government help.
“I appeal to Dr Kaingu and his Excellency, President Edgar Lungu to consider re-opening the two public institutions and also carry out an honest investigation as to what has really been causing these riots and demonstrations at institutions of learning and further find a lasting solution to put at an end to these matters,” Mr Nundwe said.