Luo closes CBU indefinitely
By Staff Reporter
HIGHER Education Minister Professor Nkandu Luo has announced the closure of the Copperbelt University (CBU) indefinitely.
Professor Luo has also suspended all union activities at the university during a media briefing in Kitwe today, saying the behaviour of the students left her with no option but to close the institution.
The Copperbelt University has been engulfed in a state of industrial disharmony following the riot that was sparked by lecturers and non-academic staff downing tools for delayed payment of salaries.
Students staged a protest in solidarity with lecturers and rioted in protest of being stopped to write examinations on account of non-payment of fees and not meeting the academic quota to be eligible to write exams.
She said that despite efforts to engage the union leaders, the level of lawlessness had continued.
Prof. Luo has also banned all union activities at the University further directing that all students leave campus by 18:00 hours today.
She said that government will not allow the continued damage of public infrastructure by unruly students.
Examinations were due to start on Monday, but the tense atmosphere had left the process disrupted.
Early this week, President Edgar Lungu threatened to close the Copperbelt University and the University of Zambia if students at the two institutions continue rioting and causing damage to public property.
President Lungu wondered why students at the two public universities were the only ones always rioting and damaging public and private property.
He said that it was unjustified for students to come from their respective homes only to destroy public and institutional property.
President Lungu noted that his administration will now have to put its foot down even if it meant closing down the two public universities.
President Lungu was responding to journalists in Kitwe shortly after touring the Zambia Institute of Business Studies and Industrial Practice -ZIBSIP Hostels which have been renovated at a cost of K1.7 million.
He said that he was willing to meet students’ representatives but changed his mind after seeing the trail of damage to public property caused by rioting students.