By Nation Reporter
Eight of the expelled Copperbelt University (CBU) students, including the one who grabbed a gun from a policeman during the riots which led to the institution’s closure, have pleaded for forgiveness.
Friday Chibole, who disarmed a policeman and seven others, yesterday presented a written petition to President Edgar Lungu through Kitwe district commissioner (DC) Chanda Kabwe asking for mercy.
Over 20 students are earmarked for expulsion from the CBU following their involvement in riotous behaviour which led to the closure of the university two months ago.
Reading the petition on behalf of those expelled and those to be expelled, Festus Musonda said they took responsibility for their actions and were now apologizing to President Lungu so that he could have mercy on them.
He said the expelled students had learnt a bitter lesson and that if they were to be forgiven and allowed to continue, they would concentrate on their studies and complete their programmes.
“As expelled students, we take full responsibility of our actions and this is why we decided to apologize to President Lungu and the nation at large over our riotous behaviour which led to our being expelled from the university. We have learnt a lesson and if we are reinstated, we will concentrate on our academic studies,” Mr Musonda said.
He also distanced students from the unpalatable statements which some opposition leaders had been making in some sections of the media regarding the situation at CBU.
“We are not part of the statements which some opposition leaders have been making in the media over the situation at CBU and politicians should not take advantage of the situation at CBU to gain political mileage,” Mr Musonda said.
Mr Kabwe said he would deliver the petition to President Lungu and would respond accordingly.
He, however, cautioned the expelled students not to allow themselves to be used and then dumped by desperate politicians who could not help them when things get worse like the situation was now after being expelled.
Mr Kabwe said it was sad that students who were supposed to focus on education so that they could contribute to the development of the country were allowing themselves to be used.
“It is sad that, as intellectuals, you allowed politicians to use and dump you. So now the politicians who were using you to cause confusion, where are they now? They have dumped you.
“So comrades, I am telling you, don’t be excited and do things which you will regret. This Government means well, but you want to push it. Anyway, I have received the petition and I will take it to President Lungu,” Mr Kabwe said.