“Let this legend of self sacrifice on the part of the poor people never be forgotten for generations to come. Let it remain as an inspiration to all so that every good that shall come out of this building be to the greater glory of people.’’These were the words said by Zambia’s first Republican President Dr Kenneth Kaunda to appreciate the young gallant men and women that had demonstrated their patriotism to the development of this nation by their voluntary contribution to the building of University Of Zambia (UNZA).
At that time there was no money to build the university hence the UNIP Government decided to examine other options to ensure that Zambia had its own local graduates especially, because, opportunities for education and training for indigenous Zambians was unavailable, resulting in an acute shortage of human resource.This severe shortage of human resource constituted a major constraint on the country’s development. Hence the Government engaged the public to raise funds through what was known as a university fund to collect contributions towards the building of the UNZA.The main aim of UNZA was to ensure the country was able to produce local graduates who would succeed the departing Europeans and be of assistance in developing the country. They contributed money whilst those who could not afford donated farm produce and livestock like goats, cows and chickens.
These were the people who came to be known as the friends of the university. It was at this point that the council was formed to collect and ensure all the contribution that was brought forward was put to good use.In addition, in March 1963, the Government appointed the Lockwood Commission to advice on the development of the university.In January 1964, the Government accepted the Lockwood recommendations. Dr D. Anglin was appointed vice-chancellor and in October 1965, President Kaunda gave his assent to Act Number 66 of 1965 and on 12 November, UNZA came into existence.
Thefore, barring of over 850 students, the friends of the university, from writing their exams by the Vice Chancellor Prof Luke Evuta Mumba is unheard of, inhumane and inconsiderate looking at how bad the economy is at the moment. It shows utter lack of patriotism for the nation. Even though students are owing the institition K46 million in total of tuition fees for this academic year, it still doesn’t warrant such an aggressive measure. They should understand that no parent or individual in their right mind would just decided not pay pay tuition fees when they have the money. They should understand that no one is joking with them when they declare that they don’t have the money at that particular moment because things are just bad.
The University should use other ways of ensuring that students pay their tuition fees other than stopping them from writing their exams. From time immemorial students have either been signing memorandum of understanding of how and when they were going to pay tuition fees or payed when getting their results but not being barred from writing their exams. This move if sustained is going to be injurious to the parents who work so hard to make sure that their children are educated because they have already spent a lot of money on their children for the same academic year in terms of providing money for their children for meals, academic materials, daily upkeep and other necessities which arise from time to time. When a parent has got a child at the university, it’s not the only resibility they have, they have other children to take care of, bills to pay and sometimes other relatives to support. They should understand that other people may have planned to pay but the way life is that other unforeseen circumstances may have arisen.
Stopping students from writing exams is not only unfavorable to students but the nation at large because the students who would otherwise contribute greatly to the development of the nation would be delayed. After the colonialists left, President Kaunda understood that the only way our country would develop was by having well trained technocrats. It’s the same route which was taken by developed countries like Germany after the second world war. Germany was worse than us. But look at how well it’s doing now because of investing in the education sector. Being a learned man, I expect the Vice Chancellor to be well aware of this.
I am making a formal appeal to the Vice Chancellor to rescind his decision and seek for alternative ways of dealing with the tissue. I also want to tell University of Zambia Students Union (UNZASU) to wake up and do their Job. What are you doing “baiche imwe” because in our days this wouldn’t have happened when unions were unions.
DAVID CHISHIMBA RAINBOW PARTY PROVINCIAL YOUTH VICE IPS