By Niza Phiri
The pronouncements in todays parliamentary session about the resolutions over the CBU impasse are very disappointing to say the least. Firstly, government is just looking to protect their ego. But at what expense? Two years ago, i was carried along for one of the vice chancellors trips in the hope of shutting me up as an outspoken government critic, during my time in the copperbelt university students union (COBUSU). The trip was supposedly supposed to be a trip to establish links for the copperbelt university and various uk university, of which nothing ever materialized to this day.needless to say, I thought it was a Nobel cause. However , when my allowance was paid to me for the trip, it soon became apparent to me, this is why most lecturers had complained about mismanagement of resources. With my allowance i could have easily purchased a motor vehicle. The VC and his management had such trips nearly every month.
A delegation of 6 was soon on board an Emirates flight to the UK. As the only two students on the trip then, we received the least in terms of allowances. We could only speculate about how much the CBU boss had paid himself, we had timed cabs that took us around the uk, to every place we pleased. When it was time to travel between cities, we just Booked flights. We lived like kings. We stayed at 5 star hotels in London and Manchester. But where was that money coming from ? Wasn’t that the money that needed to go to upgrading the library, improving sanitation, and bettering the learning environment ? Whenever lecturers complained about lack of equipment, the boss always said there is no money.when i queried over the same, i was quickly threatened with expulsion. We understand that the government does not want to set precedence or may be they are not comfortable with maligning the man, Because of his strong OP ties, but protecting one man, at the expense of 14000 families is not right. The institution Will most likely close because the lecturers will not go back for work, and justiably so, alot of things are done in an unacceptable manner for a university. The university will close indefinitely for a third time this year. In the end the students get to suffer the most.
Government should hear its people, the man has very poor management skills, including serious financial mismanagement , which only drags the university on a downward slide down the university ranking table . This in turn affects how competitive graduates from CBU will be on both the national and international markets. there is absolutely no way this latest episode of indecisiveness will yeild any positive results.Government should reconsider their position on the impasse because this is the worst possible solution to a problem that has been going on for nearly 4 years now.