Friday 24th November 2017

Government shuts down Mulungushi University following riots by students

MULUNGUSHI University has been closed with immediate effect following riotous behaviour by students leading to damage of property and infrastructure, after management announced an increase in school tuition fees.

The university will open after 10 days, and only students that will be invited back to the school will continue learning, while those that will not be written to will remain suspended.

The students ran amok destroying university property and private vehicles, and have been boycotting classes since April 18, 2017.

On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, the police arrested 59 students who spent a night in police custody and were released the following day.

The students who were released from custody are believed to be inciting other students to continue with the riotous behaviour.

Minister of Higher Education Nkandu Luo announced the closure at a press briefing in Lusaka saying that government is spending huge sums of money to upgrade institutions and will not allow students to frustrate its efforts.

“It has, however, become clear to me that the problem at Mulungushi University has nothing to do with the increase in fees, or the disagreements with the policy of the senate on deferred examinations. If it was about the fees, the reaction should have been in February because that is when the new fees were announced.

The behaviour displayed by some students in frustrating chances of dialogue has shown that they are bent on causing confusion,” she said.

Prof Luo said the closure is meant to restore order at the institution.

“In view of this, I have, therefore, today, with a very heavy heart, decided to close the university in order to restore order at the institution. This closure will be for a period of 10 days, and it is in line with section 40(2) of the higher education act, number 4 of 2013,” she said.

She urged all students to leave campus premises by 18:00 hours today.

“The university will reopen on Monday, May 15, 2017; students should note that the exams schedule will remain the same, prior to the opening, parents, guardians and sponsors will be expected to make a written commitment to the university of willingness to pay fees required by the university,” she said.

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