Students at Evelyn Hone College, the biggest public college in Zambia, this (Thursday) morning demonstrated to press for bursaries, accommodation and improved sanitation.
But the police bruatally put a stop to the demonstrations that started at 03 in the morning.
The students who switched off power from all the hostels at 03 in the morning were threatening to beat up their union representatives for betraying them and receiving money to support the PF regime.
By 04: 30, police in riot gear from the Central police which is just opposite the college moved in and immediately started firing teargas canisters and beating up students. Some students were arrested and loaded in police vans and taken away. Others were trapped in hostels as police teargassed the college while students cried for mercy inside their rooms. Others managed to escape into the darkness.
‘There is total chaos here,’ one student who managed to escape from the besieged college told the Watchdog at 05 hours. One student said he feared female students could even be raped in such confusion as they are running into darkness.
The students were mobilizing to go Church road, which is across the college and block it to attract public attention when the police pounced on therm.
Then students are upset with their student union for hindering collaborations with students from universities and colleges who protested against the removal of subsidies on fuel and maize.
The students are wondering why despite being the only college that issued a statement to support the government move to remove subsidies have not being given bursaries.
Evelyn Hone college has about 8000 full time students. According to availed statistics, In 2011, 125 students were awarded with bursaries. In 2012, the number reduced to 68.
But in 2013, the PF government decided not to give even a single student a bursary
The students are complaining that a lot of students have stopped school because they can not afford the fees and there is no support from government.
‘As students of Evelyn Hone College, would like to express our heartfelt disappointment towards the current EHCOSU executive in that we have seen most our friends and relatives being chased from school because they have failed to pay tuition fees’, said one of the students.
‘It is most likely that our money for bursaries has gone to by –elections, said another student adding that, ‘Bursary is taxpayer’s money and the parents for our colleagues from CBU and UNZA are not the only tax payers.’