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The request should have been presented to the management of UNZA who, in turn, would have brought it to the attention of the Ministry of Higher Education for consideration.Mr Speaker, my ministry has only heard of the demands of the students through their riotous behaviour and public utterances by representatives of the students’ union.Wednesday, 28th October, 2015 The House met at 1430 hours [MR DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair] NATIONAL ANTHEM PRAYER _______ MINISTERIAL STATEMENT RIOTOUS BEHAVIOUR OF UNZA STUDENTS The Minister of Higher Education (Dr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for this opportunity to present my ministerial statement on the current events at the University of Zambia (UNZA).Mr Speaker, the UNZA students have just registered for the 2015/2016 Academic Year.
It is, therefore, most unfortunate that a few privileged students at UNZA choose to resort to riotous behaviour while a large proportion of their brothers and sisters do not have access to the bursary system.
Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I would like to assure the House that these are not threats, but real issues. Member that I will fall back on the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation that the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has been talking about. Dr Kaingu: Sir, the students are now asking to be paid K35 per day. As microcosms of society, clearly, this is necessary. Professor has said that this has been a long-standing problem. Member must know that it is not my job to run the university. Money was spent on this exercise and recommendations were made on various issues, including the Bursaries Scheme that we are talking about today. However, it has been brought before this House today. Minister has had occasion to look at the recommendations and the Cabinet White Paper on that matter. Interruptions Mr Deputy Speaker: What is your question, hon. Mr Lombanya: Mr Speaker, the question is: Has the hon.
Otherwise, I have already listed down the names of students whose bursaries I was to going to cancel with immediate effect but, because of the spirit of forgiveness that is flowing … in our country and was initiated by our loving and caring Republican President, I will forgive them. Mr Shakafuswa: Sir, the Government has to find a solution to this. However, I have already said that it is the manner in which they are trying to call for dialogue that is creating problems. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, in the governance of universities, threats have never been a solution anywhere in the world. What this means is that even him, who is an expert and was Vice-Chancellor of that institution and Minister of Education before, had a ‘bite’ of this problem and left it begging for solutions. As a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zambia (UNZA), he is aware that there are two instruments at our disposal to run the university. Minister looked at the White Paper on the recommendations of the Bobby Bwalya Commission of Inquiry to find lasting solutions to the problems at the university? However, this Government will not fail to solve a problem because of elections.
We shall not allow anarchy and that manner of engaging the Government. I have met with the University of Zambia Students’ Union (UNZASU). Minister of Higher Education, and given the deep-rooted problems of the universities, leading to serious instability in the institutions, have you, as the final policy director, thought about establishing a committee of experts on higher education to advise you on these deeply-rooted problems, which can never be solved by threats? Dr Kaingu: Otherwise, I should discipline the Senate and Council and, eventually, the students who are failing to adhere to the Patriotic Front (PF) policies. Mr Lombanya (Solwezi East): Mr Speaker, like others have said, the problems at the universities are deep rooted.
If the students have any problems, they can engage the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, unions or the hon. So, I am wondering why the students resorted to going to the roadside to stone vehicles of people who pay the taxes from which their bursaries are paid. Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, student unrest has been part of our universities, dating back to the 1970s. Minister has clearly stated that it is high time this issue was resolved although I have also heard some threats from him. Minister whether there is a blue print in the Ministry of Higher Education through which he hopes to address this issue once and for all. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, universities are never governed by threats no matter where those threats come from. That is so you can be best informed on the policy direction of the institution which might provide long-lasting solutions to the instability of the institution. Dr Kaingu: My responsibility is to make sure that once the policies are not followed, I will gently issue a threat. I remember that the Bobby Bwalya Commission of Inquiry was constituted eighteen years ago, following serious disturbances at the University of Zambia (UNZA) and Copperbelt University (CBU).
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As scholars, they must question the morality of their actions. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement given by the hon. Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, my statement was very clear. However, it is the manner in which they are doing it that we are not happy about. Dr Kaingu: Sir, the statement was clear that the students are not happy with the allowances they are getting because they believe that they are low. Minister aware that most of the disturbances are as a result of the inadequate allowances?