NANCY SIAME, Lusaka
STUDENTS at the University of Zambia (UNZA) Great East Road campus yesterday ran amok in protest over the withholding of their results by lecturers.
The students ran riot around 07:00 hours and blocked part of Great East Road with burning tyres.
But quick action by police prevented the situation from degenerating. Calm was restored by 09:00 hours.
Lusaka Province commissioner of police Charity Katanga said in an interview yesterday that calm had returned to the countryâ€™s highest learning institution and that no arrests were made.
Ms Katanga said, however, that police officers are keeping vigil at UNZA.
â€œWe had a tough time to put out the fire on the road until the fire brigade came but we managed to contain the situation,â€ Ms Katanga said.
University of Zambia Students Union (UNZASU) president Martin Muyuya said in a separate interview that results for the students have been withheld for close to a month and this sparked the riots.
Mr Muyuya appealed to Government to intervene in the matter.
He is concerned that this might affect the scheduled opening of UNZA on October 4.
â€œWe are concerned with this situation as it has affected some of our colleagues who have missed out on job opportunities,â€ Mr Muyuya said.
He said students will not rest until the matter is resolved.
And University of Zambia Lecturers and Researchers Union (UNZALARU) president Euston Chiputa said the lecturers will continue to hold onto the results until an amicable solution is found.
Dr Chiputa said the union is seeking a meeting with Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education Michael Kaingu and UNZA management.
â€œWe tried to meet our members on Tuesday but it was very difficult. We have since asked to meet the minister,â€ he said.
Efforts to get a comment from Dr Kaingu proved futile as the minister and the spokesperson Hillary Chipangoâ€™s numbers went unanswered by press time.
On Tuesday, Government announced that it will gradually release K80 million for UNZA staff benefits.
NANCY SIAME, Lusaka