Zambia Shuts Copperbelt University Over Riots

Zambian education authorities Friday shut the country's second largest public university, the Copperbelt University (CBU), following riots.

The government said the riots were caused by students who were barred from sitting examinations because they had not made the cut in continuous assessment tests.

Minister of Higher Education Nkandu Luo told journalists that the decision was made to protect facilities which were being damaged by the students.

She instructed all students to leave campus terming the closure indefinite.

CBU, located in Kitwe, is one of Zambia's oldest public universities together with the University of Zambia (UNZA).

However, they are beset with problems ranging from poor funding which has led to salaries for lecturers being delayed to inadequate loans to finance student education.

This has caused instability and frequent closures. Earlier this week, Prof. Luo asked lecturers who were disillusioned to leave.

President Edgar Lungu warned students on Wednesday that universities would be closed if chaos persisted. This followed a go-slow at the university of Zambia in Lusaka over the last three weeks.

Mr Lungu while opening new hostels at the Zambia Institute of Business Studies and Industrial Practice in Kitwe said the government would not tolerate damages to public property whenever students had grievances.

Last year, a female student at UNZA died from suffocation while another was injured in confrontations with the police. The students were protesting some of them being barred from sitting examinations for not having paid fees.

Lecturers charge the government has mismanaged the institutions.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: East African

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.