CBU probe committee set

THE Ministry of Higher Education has appointed a committee to assess the fulfilment of the pre-conditions for re-opening the Copperbelt University (CBU).

The five man committee has been given up to April 7, 2016 to complete its assignment.

Government closed the CBU on February 3, 2016 following days of violent demonstrations and arson attacks among the students.

High Education Public Relations Officer Chiselwa Kawanda confirmed this yesterday.

The Committee includes Owen M’gemezulu (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Higher Education), Irene N. Chirwa, Secretary to the Bursaries Committee in the Ministry of Higher Education; Kabwe Chanda, Kitwe District Commissioner, Father Chilufya (Chaplin, Copperbelt University); and Ms. Charity Katanga who is Copperbelt Police Commissioner.

Ms Kawanda said the committee was expected to carry out an assessment of the number of conditions that had been fulfilled by the university and prepare a report and recommendations to Higher Education Minister Michael Kaingu.

She said the committee would ensure the sufficient and effective security measures had been put in place to regulate the entry and exit of visitors to the university.

Mr Kaingu said the committee was expected to seal off all porous points, strictly enforcing the use of students’ identity cards, installation of floodlights and security cameras and provision of walkie-talkie radio communication to security officers.

Ms Kawanda said the committee was also expected to ensure that all students were made to sign a commitment form to pledge not to indulge in violent protests.

“The committee will ensure that the office of the Dean of Students designs programmes aimed at instilling discipline in students by sensitizing them on social dialogue, non-violent engagement and other dispute resolution processes. Surcharge all students on Government Bursary for damage caused to both public and university property,” she said.

Ms Kawanda said the committee had further been tasked to ensure that all those that were identified and submitted to the Ministry of Higher Education as ring leaders for the violent protest be expelled as they were inimical to the academic life of the university.

NGO blasts

Lungu salary

 hike critics

By Nation Reporter

THOSE condemning the salary increment of President Edgar Lungu are being hypocritical because they are not privy to the Head of State’s  entitlements, says the Youth in Action for Sustainable Development (YASD)

YASD executive director Zebedy Lukwesa told the Daily Nation yesterday that there was no justification for people to attack President Lungu ‘‘for a paltry adjustment to his earnings’’ because it was his entitlement.

He said it was a shame that some of the organisations that had joined the bandwagon of politicians making unwarranted attacks on the President to gain political mileage were the ones in the forefront agitating for improved conditions of service for employees they represented.

He said as a top civil servant, there was nothing wrong to increase his salaries if other organisations were always at loggerheads with Government over the conditions of the employees they represented.

He wondered why there was too much talk about President Lungu’s salary increment as though he was the first President to have an upward adjustment of his salary and other allowances yet the same politicians who were condemning the increment would be entitled to the same once they were voted into power.

He wondered why some organisations only found it fit to talk against everything President Lungu did yet remained mute on serious national affairs that needed their attention such as ending political violence.

“Let us not be too political for nothing because the same people who are condemning this salary increment were up in arms not long ago to press Governmnet to increase the salaries of the workers they represented and some of them even went on strike because they wanted their salaries and other conditions of service improved.

“As YASD we get shocked to see all this hypocrisy going on. People should not follow politicians who have their own agenda of gaining political mileage at any slightest given opportunity. If a civil servant can demand for a salary increment, what about the top most civil servant? Let us be real,” Mr Lukwesa said.

President Lungu’s salary was increased last week, according to Statutory Instrument number 19 of 2016, to K447, 599 plus K117, 648 special allowances.

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