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Politicians sponsored students’ riots – UNZASU

CATHERINE MUMBA, Lusaka
UNIVERSITY of Zambia Students’ Union (UNZASU) president Jones Mwelwa has warned political parties against using UNZA as a ground for their political activities.
And Mr Mwelwa says the riots that resulted in the closure of UNZA were sponsored by some political parties.
Mr Mwelwa said in an interview yesterday that UNZA is not a playground for dirty politics.
“I personally dialogued with Government and later explained to the students why the meal allowance was delayed, that is why I am sure political parties paid students to riot,” Mr Mwelwa said.
He said although this is an election year, it is unfortunate that some political parties have decided to use students as tools for political propaganda.
He, however, said he is disappointed with Government’s decision to close UNZA and Copperbelt University (CBU) and that other means could have been explored to resolve the differences.
Mr Mwelwa said he blames neither Government nor the Minister of Higher Education Michael Kaingu over the closure of UNZA and CBU.
He appealed to officials at the ministry to ensure that the money meant for the students is channelled in the right way.
Mr Mwelwa appealed to Dr Kaingu to pardon the students’ behaviour and re-open the two institutions of higher learning.
He also urged management to tighten security at the institution by installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to expose those who participate in riots so that they can be arrested.
Mr Mwelwa said the police should only be deployed if security personnel at UNZA fail to handle the situation.
He appealed to the students to have a listening spirit and have confidence in their union to handle issues like delayed payment of allowances.

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