Riots looming at UNZA as govt plans to shut it prematurely for SADC games

Serious riots are looming at the University of Zambia Great Road campus as government plans to close the University prematurely.

Already students are mobilizing themselves and since Friday, have been holding ‘in-house’ demonstrations.

Government plans to prematurely close UNZA on 1st September, 2012 to facilitate the hosting of the Zone 6 SADC games which will take place this December.

The university has to close and send students away so that the premises can be renovated.

UNZA just re-opened slightly over a month ago for the academic year and it means that if it is shut in three weeks’ time, this semester would have been squeezed into two months. A normal semester takes six months.

When the University opened late due to failure by government to pay lecturers, it was agreed that students will go on a long vacation beginning on 30th October 2012 and resume lessons on 20th January 2 weeks before sitting for this semester’s exams.

But students have angered by information that this has changed and will instead close on September 1, and return only two weeks before exams in January 2013.

The information was posted by the University of Zambia students Union (UNZASU) Publicity Secretary Thelma Zimba on Friday, 10th August, 2012 on the UNZASU facebook page.

Upon students seeing this information on facebook they were angered and called an emergency meeting at the traditional foundation of demonstrations

“The Monk Square” where students demanded that the institution must not be closed prematurely at the expense of their education.

Students displayed their anger by closing the Library and putting fire on the Great East Road as the chanted slogans “Monk fit-fit, Kapokola weak-weak”

The UNZASU students who was speaking amidst booing from the students on Friday night assured the students that “As a Union we shall not allow the closure to take place in September”, Students booed UZASU president Tunkara as they preferred to be addressed by a “monk” from Ruin Police (RUPO).

Students dispersed at about 23 hours as they promised to Riot on Monday should there be no progress.

However, Saturday afternoon students, who seemed to be impatient and cannot wait for Monday mobilized themselves, by 18 hours irate students, were seen at the “Monk Square” singing songs and chanting slogans demanding that the institution remains open.

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