Police detain UNZA lecturer, summon UNZALARU leaders

Police in Lusaka have summoned University of Zambia Lecturers and Researchers’ Union (UNZALARU) leaders to appear for questioning at the headquarters this morning.

The police have also detained UNZA lecturer Austin Mbozi over a recent article following the death of student Vespers Shimunzhila.

Well-placed police sources told The Mast that this is part of an ongoing campaign to implicate lecturers in the deadly protests that recently rocked the nation’s highest learning institution.

The UNZALARU leaders summoned are vice-president Dr Andrew Phiri and general secretary Dr Kelvin Mambwe.

“We are under pressure to implicate some lecturers and students in the recent protests at UNZA. It appears that the government and our superiors in the police service don’t want to take responsibility for what happened at the University recently and are trying to find a scapegoat. So two members of the Union leadership, the SG Dr Kelvin Mambwe and the Vice-President Dr Andrew Phiri, have been asked to come to Police headquarters this morning for inquiries. The objective is to extract as much information from them as possible and use the information they provide to either implicate the Union leadership or any of their members into the recent events at UNZA,” said a police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Another police source said the UNZALARU leaders would also face questions about what they know about the recent article written by Dr Mbozi, who is lecturer in Philosophy of Good Governance.

Mbozi recently wrote a hard-hitting article that denounced tribalism and criticised the government for its role in the protests, which resulted in the death of Shimuzhila, a 4th year student in the School of Education.

Dr Mbozi argues that President Lungu is ultimately responsible for the death of Vespers.

Sources say Dr Mbozi has been in detention since Monday for allegedly insulting President Lungu.

“We have also been asked interrogate the UNZALARU leadership over a recent article allegedly written by one of their members, Dr Austin Mbozi. To be honest, even those of us who have never been at UNZA know that this is a non-starter because the union is not responsible for what their members say to the media as part of their public duties to the wider society. The way we summoned him was okay, but now we are told we have to interrogate the UNZALARU leaders as well. Eeeish! This won’t reflect well on both the police and the government,” said another source.

Source: The Mast

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