Copperbelt University students riot

Police in Kitwe fought running battles with the Copperbelt University (CBU) students who were protesting over the continued accommodation crisis at the constitution.
The students blocked the jambo and Nkana East roads with logs forcing other road users to find alternative routes for fear
of being caught up in the fracas which lasted for several hours.
According to police reports, sixteen students were arrested in the riot where riot police had a difficult time to disperse the unruly students.
Riot police officers fired teargas canisters to disperse the unruly students who caused damage to the institution.
Kitwe district police commanding officer Fred Mulenga who was found on the scene after midnight refused to comment on the matter and referred all queries to Copperbelt police commissioner Mary Tembo.
And Ms Tembo said the students blocked the Jambo and Nkana East roads
with logs forcing other road users to find alternative routes for fear of being caught up in the fracas which lasted for several hours.
“The students burnt logs on the road, they were throwing stones and blocked the two roads with huge logs but we managed to disperse them
using tear gas canisters.
“In the morning we were surprised that some students organized themselves and booked buses and went into town that is where we arrested the sixteen students,” Ms Tembo said.
She warned the students against taking the law into their own hands because doing so could attract serious consequences.
And Copperbelt University Students Union (COBUSU) president Oscar Mbewe blamed the riot on the CBU management which allegedly directed
the institution security officers to check in various rooms if students were squatting.
“The riot was caused by CBU management who directed the securityofficers from the institution to check in some rooms whether students’ squatter, this operation annoyed the students, this is what led to the riot,” he said.
Mr Mbewe said the students managed to get out of the institution using the East gate and that about 30 students spent a night at Freedom Statue in town.
“We would like to tell the CBU management that we will not be intimidated, we will continue squatting, how can they stop squatting
when there are not constructing hostels, this is bad, we will continue squatting until they construct more bed spaces for the students,” Mr
Mbewe said.
And CBU professor Naison Ngoma warned that the institution will deal with students who incite others to protest. Prof Ngoma said the majority of students were peaceful and vowed that the institution would not allow squatting.
“I addressed the students and I told them that it is important that the university regulations and rules are followed and some of the regulations forbid squatting.
“officers who went to check in about 17 rooms were professional, peaceful and they did not chase any students, they were able to find cases of squatting,” Prof Ngoma said.
He said management will not allow anarchy to prevail at CBU.
“The majority of students know why they are at CBU, they know that they came to learn and not to cause confusion, they are some who are
making a lot of making from their friends through squatting, we will not allow this situation to continue,” Prof Ngoma said.

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