UNZA riots were sponsored says Luo
THERE is more than what meets the eye in the recent University of Zambia (UNZA) riots, says Minister of Higher Education Nkandu Luo. Professor Luo said people who sponsor such activities did not even enrol their children there but sent them abroad, leaving the underprivileged to suffer. She said the UNZA riot which resulted in a loss of life was uncalled for because students were paid their meal allowance on time. Speaking in Lusaka at a press briefing yesterday, Prof. Luo said she would not resign and that the people who caused the riots were the ones who should resign. The minister clarified that she had not banned unions at higher learning institutions and that there was a transition of leadership concept known as guild. She wondered why it was only UNZA and the Copperbelt University (CBU) which seemed to riot frequently while other higher learning institutions were peaceful. "I will not resign let the people who caused the riots resign. "Usually when a riot is about to take place at UNZA we are usually tipped but this time it was different and if you saw the people who were rioting those were mostly hired thugs yes there some students but the majority were hired thugs, " she said. Prof. Luo said she expected a constructive student leadership which would tackle issues of academia as well as other challenges students faced and not that which focused only on meal allowances. She said there was need to secure higher learning institutions unlike the current situation whereby anyone could walk in and out at anytime without being questioned. Prof. Luo said there were 900 students on the project allowance list but that the ministry received a duplicated list of 2, 000 students with some names appearing twice. She said some of the names included those of first year students when in fact they were not doing any project. Prof. Luo said the list would be verified and demanded that the thesis the students were working on be submitted to the bursary board.