Bring back UNZASU, demands women movement

By Staff Reporter

 

The Young Women Christian Association of Zambia (YWCA) has urgently called on government to re- open channels of communication with the University of Zambia (UNZA) to avoid calamities like the death of fourth year student Vespers Shimuzhila through.

Speaking to newsdayzambia.com shortly after body viewing, YWCA national president Lucy Masiye said it was unfortunate that a young vibrant life could be lost just because there was no proper channel of communication between government and students.

Masiye said it was unfortunate that students have not had leadership representation for two years now from the time the union was abolished.

“Don’t ignore students, because if this is left unchecked a worse incident than this is bound to re-occur. We usually proclaim peace in Zambia but this should be holistically done not just in piece meals,’’ said Masiye.

Masiye was accompanied by other women movement representatives such as National Women’s Lobby executive director Sarah Longwe.

And speaking during a student solidarity march shortly after the funeral at Unza Seventh Day Adventist church on Lusaka’s Katimamulilo Road in Olympia Park, third year student Cuthbert Bwalya complained that it was unfair for government to call on students to embrace dialogue when they had been denied union representation.

“We cannot be suppressed; we are not children. The minister of education has clearly failed. She should not think she can run the university’s affairs as if she is running an organisation like Tasinta. The president himself should intervene in the matter before it becomes a crisis,” said Bwalya.

“It is suspicious that the government was hesitating in releasing the money for the meal allowances claiming it was still with the ministry of finance and yet it was immediately released when our friend died. This is blood money because it means we needed to sacrifice our friend to earn it.’’

Vesper died on Friday October 4 after suffocating from tear gas fumes which police had thrown in her room at the University of Zambia.