The PF government has forced the University of Zambia to sell its farm to settle lecturers’ outstanding salaries and allowances.
On Thursday afternoon, the University of Zambia Lecturers and Researchers Union (UNZALARU) announced that it had resolved to release the students’ examination results, which they have been withholding due to failure by government and management to pay them.
UNZALARU President Eustone Chiputa told the PF controlled ZNBC that lecturers decided to release the results because government has undertaken to pay 150 million Kwacha before the end of December towards the K320 million accrued dues.
According to Dr Chiputa, the academic staff will be paid the balance of K170 million after December. ‘After December’ is actually next year.
But more honest UNZALARU officers and government sources told the Watchdog that government has failed to pay lecturers but has forced UNZA to sell its properties to offset the debt. Government has committed to pay only K50 million toward the K320 million.
Education minister Michael Kaingu prevailed over UNZA senate to sell York Farm, which UNZA School of agriculture uses for practical learning.
According to sources, an evaluation of York farm established that the farm is worth K100 million, meaning that UNZA will have to sale more properties to pay lecturers.
And a check by the Watchdog revealed that senate has already engaged Knight Frank to sell the farm, as the photos below prove.
Apart from being a training facility for agricultural students, York Farm is also the largest producer of high-value, low volume vegetables for export.
York Farm started exporting conventional high-value/low-volume vegetables to the United Kingdom supermarkets in 1989. Ten years later they started producing organic products.