MUR­DER MOST FOUL

Daily Nation Newspaper - - HOME NEWS -

NOTH­ING is adding up. It does not make sense that the death of UNZA stu­dent, Ves­pers Shimuzhila, has been turned into a po­lit­i­cal cause be­ing cham­pi­oned by the op­po­si­tion United Party for Na­tional De­vel­op­ment (UPND). The loss of Ves­pers is a na­tional tragedy that has touched many peo­ple be­cause of the cir­cum­stances and man­ner in which this young lady died. The uni­ver­sity fra­ter­nity un­doubt­edly was equally ag­grieved to have lost one of their own in those very trou­bling cir­cum­stances which defy logic. For a start, it does not make sense that stu­dents could riot two days be­fore the due date of al­lowance pay­ment. There is ab­so­lutely no logic in this, and yet this drove an ac­tiv­ity that led to the loss of life. Se­condly, the sug­ges­tion that a tear­gas can­is­ter was de­lib­er­ately lobbed into a dor­mi­tory does not make sense ei­ther and could only have been the work of an in­di­vid­ual with a clear malev­o­lent mo­tive, in this case with a po­lit­i­cal cause. Thirdly, there is still a lot of mys­tery over the fire that en­gulfed the dor­mi­tory at Oc­to­ber Hall. In fact, two rooms were re­port­edly torched. This could not have been done by a tear­gas can­nis­ter which is de­signed pri­mar­ily to pro­duce smoke. Fourthly, Ves­pers was not in any of the two rooms that were gut­ted. She was in a room al­most five rooms re­moved from the conflagration and could only have been choked ei­ther by smoke from the fire or in­deed from the tear­gas that was un­leashed in the area. That is why it is sur­pris­ing that the UPND has de­cided to cham­pion the cause to the ex­tent that Ves­pers’ fam­ily had to res­train cadres and stu­dents at the funeral house from ha­rass­ing Min­is­ter of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Pro­fes­sor Nkandu Luo and other mourn­ers who gen­uinely went to mourn the loss of a young life. In Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day, the min­is­ter made a num­ber of rev­e­la­tions which are wor­ri­some. For ex­am­ple, the rev­e­la­tion that most ac­tivists in the uni­ver­sity body were not stu­dents and some were iden­ti­fied as for­mer stu­dents who had been ex­pelled from the in­sti­tu­tion. The govern­ment is also in­ter­ested in estab­lish­ing the source of the T-shirts that were printed and cir­cu­lated to the uni­ver­sity com­mu­nity. Our own in­ves­ti­ga­tion also dis­closed that tyres used in demon­stra­tions were de­liv­ered to the cam­pus by an un­marked ve­hi­cle, in­di­cat­ing a very clear pat­tern of ex­ter­nal in­volve­ment. We would wish to re­it­er­ate our po­si­tion that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion should be done by an im­par­tial team that is cer­tainly not di­rected by the po­lice. The po­lice are a party to this is­sue and if in­deed any of­fi­cer lobbed tear­gas into a room, this can only be con­sid­ered as an act to sup­port the op­po­si­tion cause be­cause no sane po­lice of­fi­cer work­ing un­der proper su­pe­rior or­ders would un­der­take an ac­tion to un­der­mine the in­tegrity of the govern­ment. That is why it is im­por­tant that the over-politi­ci­sa­tion of this mat­ter, par­tic­u­larly by the UPND, is be­com­ing counter-pro­duc­tive with the ob­vi­ous sug­ges­tion that it was stage-man­aged for po­lit­i­cal gain be­cause the govern­ment has ab­so­lutely noth­ing to gain by los­ing a life. It is there­fore proper that all con­cerned should take a keen in­ter­est in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and sub­se­quent in­quest to de­ter­mine the cir­cum­stances that gave rise to this very un­for­tu­nate cir­cum­stance.

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