REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA
MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS
UNIVERSITY OF ZAMBIA (UNZA) STUDENTS AND OTHER HIGHER LEARNING INSTITUTIONS UNRULY AND RIOTOUS BEHAVIOUR
In view of the students’ riotous behavior which has recently characterized and rocked our institutions of learning concerning the removal of subsidies on maize and fuel, I wish to state that government is not in support this behavior as a way of airing their grievances.
As government, we have always advised students to find amicable ways of resolving issues on which they feel aggrieved such as designing a forum and inviting government representatives and indeed other stakeholders to explain on matters of concern unlike taking to the streets and destroying property belonging to innocent Zambian citizens.
In this vein, students will from today and on-wards take responsibility for all damaged University or College property as well as private property by recovering from them costs of all such damaged property through their bursaries or any other means available, in addition to prosecution. Recoveries will be done through managements of the responsible institutions. In this respect, if students involved are not singularly identifiable, then the whole body mass of students will be subjected to contributions toward the recoveries.
Our desire as government is to inculcate a culture of adherence to law and order as well as engaging government by dialoging on contentious matters in a way that does not endanger lives or property of innocent members of the public. Students should understand that they went to school to learn and not to cause confusion or lawlessness.
Further, I wish to advise students that government is open to dialogue and as such, we implore them to design forums and invite government officials or their representatives to discuss contentious issues such as government’s position on subsidies.
Students’ Unions in these institutions are therefore called upon to take their position of responsibility seriously and ensure that no student is left alone, to run amok on matters which do not have any benefit to the cause of the students in advancing their core business of study.
I wish to underscore that this is a government decision, made by cabinet at its sitting held on 20th May, 2013 but being made public the 27th day of May, 2013, in order to put the position of government beyond doubt in view of the growing worrying trend of students taking to the streets and in the process inconveniencing the innocent public every time a call for them to do so is made, even by people who are completely strangers to their reason for being in these institutions of learning.
Hon. Edgar Lungu, MP
ACTING REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT
27th May, 2013