‘UPND IN­CITED UNZA RIOT’

Daily Nation Newspaper - - FRONT PAGE - By NA­TION RE­PORTER

I would have wished that this Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment ask­ing this ques­tion should have de­clared in­ter­est and prob­a­bly it’s be­cause of his lead­er­ship that we have had so much dam­age done to peo­ple’s prop­erty— Pro­fes­sor Luo

UPND lead­er­ship is be­hind last week’s riot by Uni­ver­sity of Zam­bia (UNZA) stu­dents, Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Pe­ofes­sor Nkandu Luo has said.

Prof Luo also ques­tioned the source of the black T-shirts worn by the stu­dents if the riot was not planned. The min­is­ter said the riot at UNZA which led to the death of a fourth-year fe­male stu­dent was mo­ti­vated by out­side el­e­ments. “We know that the ri­ots are in­sti­gated by out­side in­flu­ence. That is why we want this case to be thor­oughly in­ves­ti­gated and en­sure that the cul­prits are brought to book. “There was no need for the stu­dents to riot when their al­lowances were to be paid a day be­fore the due date?” Prof Luo made the ac­cu­sa­tion af­ter Choma Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment (UPND) Cor­nelius Mweetwa ac­cused her of be­ing too harsh on the stu­dents to an ex­tent of ban­ning stu­dents’ unions in the coun­try. “You have been too heavy handed on the stu­dents lead­ing to a sit­u­a­tion where you have banned stu­dent lead­er­ship such as stu­dents union, now when there is a de­mand stu­dents don’t know how to chan­nel their griev­ances,” Mr Mweetwa said. But in her de­fence, Prof Luo said, “I would have wished that this Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment ask­ing this ques­tion should have de­clared in­ter­est and prob­a­bly it’s be­cause of his lead­er­ship that we have had so much dam­age done to peo­ple’s prop­erty.” The min­is­ter’s re­sponse prompted UPND Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment to storm out of Par­lia­ment. Ves­pers Shimuzhila, a fourth-year stu­dent in the School of Ed­u­ca­tion, died af­ter a tear­gas can­is­ter was al­legedly fired into her hos­tel room caus­ing an elec­tric fault which ig­nited fire and fumes. Prof Luo said some out­side el­e­ments were us­ing stu­dents on sus­pen­sion or those who had been ex­pelled from the uni­ver­sity to or­gan­ise ri­ots. Mean­while, Min­is­ter of En­ergy Mathew Nkhuwa said Govern­ment would re-en­gage Saud Ara­bia to in­crease the fi­nanc­ing agree­ment for the sup­ply of cheap-priced fuel from US$20 mil­lion to US$100 mil­lion.

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