NANCY SIAME, Lusaka
CABINET has approved the restructuring of University of Zambia (UNZA) into five colleges to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the operations of the institution.
Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Kampamba Mulenga said the decision was arrived at during the13th Cabinet meeting held at State House on Monday.
Ms Mulenga said this during a press briefing where she was flanked by special assistant to the President for press and public relations Amos Chanda and her Health counterpart Chitalu Chilufya.
“UNZA has become inefficient in its management due to its current size which has resulted in operational problems, and this has in turn resulted in a huge debt burden, inadequate staff and infrastructure, perennial strikes by students and lecturers, and this has compromised the quality of education,” she said.
She said the five colleges which UNZA has been reconstituted into are medicine; education; agriculture and veterinary medicine; engineering, mines and minerals; and humanities and arts.
Ms Mulenga said during the same meeting, Cabinet approved the new financing strategy for financing public universities which, among other things, states that Government will liquidate all debts owed by three public institutions.
“The Minister of Higher Education Nkandu Luo will soon announce other university reforms approved by Cabinet,” she said.
She said Cabinet also approved the bill to amend the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act of 2008 to have legislation to have increased investment in the sector to contribute to national development.
Ms Mulenga said Cabinet approved the engagement of an independent evaluator and consultant to assess the operations, assets and infrastructure of Indeni Oil Refinery in Ndola, to determine the modernisation and optimisation upgrade and associated costs.
“Cabinet is of the view that participation of private sector will facilitate increased supply of petroleum products in the country,” she said.
She said Cabinet in the same meeting decided that a task force be formed to look at the operations of Zesco and propose the best operations and management of the company.