UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has added his voice on the state of tertiary institutions in the country.

The two leading public universities in the University of Zambia (UNZA) and Copperbelt University (CBU) have been closed for over two months with the excuse advanced being the cholera threat.

Insiders however indicate that the two institutions have remained closed due to lack of money to pay allowances for students.
Nkurumah University has also joined the list of closed public universities following a dispute over payment of lecturers.

Full statement:

Good morning friends

Nkurumah University in Kabwe has been closed over what is being claimed poor sanitation. This simply means that all major learning institutions of higher learning in the country are closed. This clearly shows the complete lack of priorities in the utilisation of our meagre resources, where you have UNZA closed, CBU closed, Nkuruma closed, NRDC sold and the list is endless.

We are aware that the closure of these institutions may not necessarily be due to poor sanitation. It’s simply because the PF leadership has just diverted the money meant for lecturers, support staff and students meal allowances to other projects. These projects are a priority for them because the few corrupt individuals in Government are getting kickbacks under the ‘Ubomba mwibala alya mwibala’ modus operandus.

Even assuming that the sanitation facilities at these institutions is so bad for human habitation, are we not ashamed that Day Care, Primary and Secondary schools that have younger people within the vicinities of these big institutions are open while the universities are closed due to neglect in maintenance?

What happens to institutions that get closed is that they lose their integrity. Integrity is all a University has to offer, this is why when a job is advertised, “qualification from a reputable institution” is added.

What reputation has UNZA, CBU, Mulungushi and now Nkrumah have for their graduates to compete at the global stage? Does it therefore make sense to procure second hand fire tender engines at US $1 million each and continue spending huge amounts on constructing new overpriced projects when we can’t maintain the already existing public infrastructure?

These are issues that we should be spending our time discussing. When we speak as UPND, we are labelled bitter. Yes we have to be bitter if our children cannot go to school because a toilet is broken and yet the money which is supposed to go to fix the toilet ends up in someone’s pocket.

We are calling on all citizens to for once rise above these political partisan lines and unite for the good of our country. We are letting a cabal of self-confessed thieves to rob the country under our watch. If we are truly a Christian nation, we need to rise and apply the Christian principles to stop our country from being overtaken by ruthless people.

HH


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