As the University of Zambia and Copperbelt University students return to campus to resume academic life with their meal allowances restored, it is important that they reflect on their conduct or is it their misconduct.
It must be understood that time lost is never regained and in this particular case, the students have lost time.
We cannot dispute that the students will graduate, but the fact is that their learning at universities could have been shorter than they have made it.
They might argue that Government is to blame for delaying the payment of their meal allowances.
This is partly true that they deserve their meal allowance as agreed in their letters of bursary.
In fact, they have the right to protest the late or delayed payment of their entitlement such as meal allowance.
But certainly, they do not have the right to violate other people’s rights whenever they are aggrieved.
The extreme negative conduct displayed whenever they are ‘fighting’ for their entitlements are outrageous to say the least.
It is not in good taste for the university students who understand current social and economic issues to take to the street and damage innocent people’s assets.
It is wrong for students to damage vehicles belonging to ordinary citizens who pay tax, part of which goes towards the meal allowances they fight for.
Even some of the property that the students damage at campus is repaired by tax payers’ money which they do not contribute to as students.
In fact, the violent conduct that they promote at campus is never in their vocabulary when they are with their parents at home.
Obviously, no parent would tolerant a child who breaks household goods whenever a gift is not forthcoming.
Therefore, we appeal to parents with students at the two universities to sit down with their children on good behaviour at campus.
The parents should know that the longer their children take to complete their academic life has an effect on their financial obligations.
Some of the parents do every month send money to their children at the two universities which end up in bars and other vices of which if known could be depressing.
With pressure on the economic life of the businessmen and women and generally the working class, it is important that parents sensitise their children and dependants on the realities of the financial strain.
This is the reason why we are asking the students at the two universities to reflect on their conduct or indeed misconduct.
No one wishes them to be at campus longer than they are supposed to be, but cool heads must prevail.