MI N I S T E R o f H i g h e r E d u c a t i o n B r i a n Mushimba is saddened by the behaviour of University of Zambia (UNZA) students who demonstrated against violent attacks on foreigners living in South Africa. The minister has urged students to remain calm and disengage from acts that will result in damage to property.
Dr Mushimba told journalists yesterday that students should heed President Edgar Lungu’s call for calm and avoid disrupting academic schedules at the university. “The demonstration was illegal as police did not have enough notice to award permits and as Government we voice the displeasure in the behaviour of students and damage caused to some property.
“ I t i s u n f o r t u n a t e a n d Government will not tolerate this behaviour,” he said. Dr Mushimba said students should concentrate on learning and acquiring knowledge so that they can become productive citizens in future. He called on the university m a n a g e m e n t a n d s t u d e n t leadership to address students and make them understand that this kind of behaviour will not be condoned. The minister said the behaviour should be stopped to allow the issue to be handled by able offices.
“Students should focus on learning and acquiring knowledge, Government is spending huge amounts of money to ensure that they get education so that they contribute to the economic growth of the country,” he said. D r M u s h i m b a s a i d t h e demonstration has resulted in the general public being inconvenienced, and in some cases, damage to public and private property. “While the ministry recognises the students’ right to air grievances on matters such as this one, they are urged to desist from engaging in violent conduct as such approaches have the potential to prove detrimental to the country as a whole,” he said.
Dr Mushimba said the incidence is of great concern, especially that the UNZA students are expected to uphold high standards of principles regarding conflict resolution. He said the action by the students is contrary to provisions of the law. “We urge the union leadership and students to desist from riotous and violent behaviour,” he said. He said Government, through established collective diplomatic channels of the Southern African Development Community, is engaging the South African government on the need to immediately halt the