17 May 2013

Zambia: Police Fire Teargas At Protesting Unza Students

Police have fired teargas at University of Zambia (UNZA) students to disperse thousands that have converged on Great East Road to protest the removal of subsidies on mealie meal and fuel by President Michael Sata and his Patriotic Front government.

A similar protest is imminent in Kitwe where Copperbelt University (CBU) students are gathering to join their government in mounting pressure on President Sata to reverse the removal of subsidies whose immediate effect has seen a rise in commodities.

Students at CBU gather for Black Friday Revolution

The angry UNZA students are unshaken by the heavy police presence and use of teargas as they chant slogans calling President Sata a dictator and a liar who duped the youths into voting for him in the 2011 elections.

Eyewitnesses are reporting that students are also singing the now popular collaboration by Pilato and Petersen entitled BUFI [translated as Lies] in reference to President Sata's unfulfilled campaign promises of more money in the pockets, lower taxes, more jobs, lower fuel and mealie meal prices.

Students have blocked the Great East Road at the country's highest learning institution and majority of them are dressed in black attire in what they are calling Black Friday Revolution.

"Thousands of students from UNZA are demostrating over the removal of subsidies on maize and fuel Great East road is blocked by the huge numbers of student with banners and in black attire matching singing 'Bufi'," an eyewitness has told Zambia Reports.

According to students sources, the protesters have since vowed to close down all the lectures scheduled for today in line with a central meeting which is expected to take place at the 'Monk Square' a platform where students are usually addressed before they match to State House.

Students at UNZA in Black Friday Revolution

A student representative Thomas Chisenga said; "we are appealing to the government to reverse the

decision to scrap off the maize subsidy for the sake of the majority poor Zambians.

"There is need for government to take into consideration the majority Zambians who are unemployed and cannot afford a descent meal in a day. It will only be fair to the Zambian people if government rescinds its decisions on the subsidies which will affect the poor more.

"The government should find the right way of handling the current fuel and maize subsidies carefully for the benefit of all Zambians."

The student argue that the PF government can find a better way of dealing with development instead of inflicting misery on the people they promised to serve.

"What is the point of having by elections which were not budgeted for? What is the point in launching so many developmental programs at once when the way they can generate money is by hiking the standards of living making it more difficult for the poor to survive.

"We, as UNZA students, will not tolerate this situation and as incoming secretary general, I will fight with my bare hands to see to it that we students and the general public do not suffer at the expense of our political leaders," Chisenga said.

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