THE university community must take full responsibility for the turmoil and subsequent loss of life that occurred at the Great East Road Campus last weekend. The community cannot equivocate and claim indignant righteousness over the loss of life to placate the public. This will not work this time. Why did they fail to inform the students that allowances were not due? It is unconscionable that the Vice Chancellor and the Lecturers and Researchers Union (UNZALARU) have chosen to blame the Police for the fracas. They know better. The truth is that the Police did not start the riot. The riot was a premeditated act of iconoclasm and anti-social conduct whose consequences were equally known, long before the first stones were cast at innocent people driving along the Great East Road. The students were fully aware of the consequences. They knew that Police, like in numerous previous occasions, would push back and quell the riot to protect innocent Zambians. They also knew from previous experience that Police would invade the campus to snuff out resistance and arrest perpetrators for breaking the law. This is their duty. The difference this time is that a life has been lost. This perhaps should be the starting point of any debate. Never before has a life been lost. Such skirmishes have always resulted in injuries, arrests and subsequent expulsion or suspension of the identified ring leaders. This time a new dimension has been added. It is not clear how Vespers Shimuzhila lost her life. It is however clear that she was not one of the students that ran a gauntlet with Police officers. She was an unfortunate victim of circumstances who was in the right place at the wrong time, when others had decided to defy the rule of law. She cannot be classified as collateral damage because there was no justifiable cause for what transpired and this is the point that both the Vice Chancellor and UNZARALU seem to be skirting around with the intention of apportioning blame unfairly. Two things are very clear. Firstly, the power of propaganda and mob psychology were at play. There was no cogent basis for any grievance related to student allowances which were not due. Instead emotions were whipped, logic was supplanted by a negative confrontational anger. This senseless anger was expressed against innocent members of the public using the Great East Road. Secondly; given the circumstances, it is clear that the riot was neither spontaneous. It was the result of manipulation by propagandists who saw the potential political benefit of confrontation. That is why we are not persuaded by rhetoric. Independent authorities must dig to the root and antecedents of this very disastrous episode in the life of the University of Zambia. Through meticulous investigation by all concerned, including the university administration and indeed UNZALARU, the perpetrators and instigators of the riot must be identified. They are accessories to a murder. Without their reckless action Vespers would still be alive today and her colleague would not be seeking specialist spinal treatment in South Africa. All these occurred because somebody schemed the skirmish. This person and his colleagues must be identified, to receive their just rewards.