GOVERNMENT has said the Copperbelt University (Ndola campus) students and student doctors at University of Zambia are not affected by the scrapping of meal allowances as they did not participate in the violent protests which led to the closure of the two institutions.
Ministry of Higher Education public relations officer Chiselwa Kawanda said in a statement that students on bursary at the UNZA School of Medicine (Ridgeway campus) and CBU (Ndola campus) were not affected by the scrapping of the meal allowance.
Ms Kawanda said Government would continue to pay the meal allowances to these students as they were not part of the violent protests that led to the closure of the two universities on 3rd February 2016.
On 9th March 2016, the Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Michael Kaingu presented a ministerial statement to the National Assembly in which he announced plans for the reopening of the Copperbelt University and the University of Zambia next month.
Among other issues highlighted in the statement was the decision to discontinue the payment of meal allowances to the students at the two universities.
Dr Kaingu announced that until the proposed Loans and Scholarships Board was in place in January 2017, Government would continue to pay for tuition, accommodation, book and project allowances to the students at UNZA and CBU.
He however said Government had decided to discontinue payment of the meal allowance with immediate effect.
Closing the two schools, Dr Kaingu had observed that the situation at UNZA Great East Road campus and CBU in Kitwe had deteriorated to levels posing a threat to life and property.
Dr Kaingu said the only students exempted from the closure were those from the School of Medicine Ridgeway and Ndola campuses, graduate schools, evening, distance and parallel programmes.
He said the criminal behaviour by students and known opposition activists had forced Government to take decisive steps to restore law and order.
Dr Kaingu claimed that two opposition leaders were spotted distributing T-shirts and pamphlets at several higher learning institutions including the two universities a few weeks before the riots erupted.