UNIVERSITY of Zambia (UNZA) students in Lusaka on Sunday night ran amok, smashing windscreens of motor vehicles using Great East Road.
The irate students protesting the reported looming closure of the institution, went to the Great East Road around 23:30 hours and lit tyres, disrupting traffic flow in the process.
But Education Minister John Phiri clarified in Lusaka yesterday that the institution would not be closed on September 1, this year but that renovation would be done in phases to allow classes to run as scheduled.
Six students were arrested for disorderly behaviour but were later released from police custody.
The protest which lasted up to 03:00 hours yesterday saw a number of cars damaged with one family en-route to Chipata injured in the fracas.
Lusaka Province commissioner of police, Solomon Jere confirmed the detention and the subsequent release of the six students.
He said the six students, including one female were warned before being released from police custody.
"Yes six were picked but have been released after being severely warned. We have their details and next time they are found wanting, there will be no pardoning," he said.
University of Zambia Students Union (UNZASU) president, Ali Tunkara condemned the violent action by the students who went to the roadside.
Mr Tunkara said the protest was not necessary as the union, management and the Government were holding talks in order to sort out the perceived problem.
"My appeal is that we are a role model and we should not be in the forefront to promote violence.
"Yes, it is our democratic right to protest, but we should find better ways of doing it," he said.
Mr Tunkara said the company contracted to carry out renovations at the institution had requested for more time as the five-week period earlier planned for was not enough.
He said there were reports that instead of closing on October 31, the University would close on September 1 to facilitate the rehabilitation works.
He said this angered the students who did not want their book allowance to be disturbed as they were likely to miss out as a result of the closure.
Mr Tunkara has since apologised to members of the general public for the disorderly conduct of the students.
He said the infrastructure at UNZA, especially hostels were in a dilapidated state and that the renovations could not have come at a better time than now.
The renovations are being done in preparation for the SADC youth games set to be held from December 4 to December 17, 2012 to be hosted at the institution.
The games are being hosted under the auspices of the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa Zone Six.