A statement released by CBU students Tobias Makai, outgoing Students Council of Representatives chairperson, and Samson Thole, outgoing member, described the heartbreaking situations that the students have encountered from the current governments actions taken in response to the difficulties faced by University students. The scars left are deep, and will for most students never heal.
“As concerned student from the two highest learning institutions in the country; the Copperbelt University and the University of Zambia, we would like to remind the Patriotic Front as a party in government that even as they do their campaigns, they should know that our memories are still fresh. Students will never forget the academic torture they have been subjected to in the recent past by the current regime. The time that was lost as a result of the closures of the two universities will never be recovered in the life of a student,” read the statement in part.
The CBU University has experienced difficult times during their studies due to the PF governments sudden closure of the University caused by student protests following the sudden cancellation of school meals. Instead of having an open dialogue with the devastated students, many too poor to pay for a daily meal themselves after paying their school fees. The typically brash response taken by the PF government was to shut down the University.
This outrageous level of mismanagement will forever remain in the memories of the students, parents, professors and staff, who have all experienced the irresponsible and undemocratic actions forced upon the University by a dysfunctional government.
“Life-changing decisions will be availed to the PF regime through the power of the vote. August 11 will be a moment of deep reflection and students would shed tears while taking a stand in the polling booth.”
They stated that Zambians had already tested what the PF government was offering.
“We have had a taste of what the Patriotic Front government has to offer, and voting them back is tantamount to signing our own prison sentence as this would in effect imply social, economic and political bondage. The telltale signs are there for all well-meaning students and Zambians to see,” the students stated.
They stated that the student’s union had been stripped off all their powers to protect the interests of their constituents, all the students were made to sign declaration forms that took away their inalienable right to speak out when they were aggrieved. The students furthermore stated that they had been subjected to military conditions where they were under 24-hour CCTV surveillance, taking away their right to privacy and freedom of movement with the universities.
“The intensity of the police brutality has been heightened under the PF regime where police officers have time and time again been instructed to break doors and attack innocent students in their rooms. The irregular administering of meal, book, project and accommodation allowances witnessed in the 2015/16 academic year are an indication that the days of the student bursary scheme are numbered under the PF rule,” stated the students.
“We wish to state categorically that the PF government has made it easy for the student populace, prospective students, youths, parents and the nation at large to make a decision.”
It is baffling to see such little attention and effort paid to securing the longevity and success of universities across Zambia, especially when 82% of the population are below 25 years old and desperate for an education. The youth of Zambia require good quality education to unlock and actualise their own potential but also hold the key to ensuring that Zambia’s economy can grow over the coming years.Yet the PF Government’s performance on education has been nothing short of shameful. They have once again proved that they have no plan for the future of Zambia.