Five students have sued Northrise University in the Solwezi High Court for enrolling them and training them in a nursing programme which the institution was not authorized to give.
Nimrod Mulenga, Nchimunya Mwila, Lucy Kintakwa, Evelyn Mulenga and Mirriam Kangwa are demanding damages for negligence, fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of contract and a refund of all monies paid to Northrise University as school fees.
In a statement of claim filed on Tuesday, the students cited Northrise University Vice Chancellor Moffat Zimba, Deputy Vice Chancellor Doreen Zimba and Council Chairman Steve Hilyard as 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents respectively.
“The Plaintiffs shall aver at trial that by advertising to the public and calling for enrollment, the Defendants represented to the Plaintiffs and the public that the said Northrise University was duly registered to train nurses and award them with the required certification upon completion. The Plaintiffs will aver at trial that after learning about the nursing program through the various massive media campaigns done by the Defendants and the goodwill and reputation of Mary Begg Community Clinic and First Quantam Minetals Limited, they decided to enter into a contract with the Defendant wherein they were to pay fees; attend lectures and meet the various other curriculum requirements and the Defendant would in turn award them with a degree in nursing at the end of the study period,” read the statement of claim.
The students stated that some of them enrolled for the said program in January 2015 whilst others enrolled in February 2016.
“The Plaintiffs shall aver that on or about 5th May, 2017 after having attended various successive semesters under the nursing program, they received letters to the effect that the nursing program that they had enrolled for was no longer being offered by the Defendant on the pretext that the Defendant wanted to establish an ultramodern nursing school in Ndola. The Plaintiffs shall aver at trial that after further inquiry into the issue they came to learn that Northrise University was not registered with the General Council of Nurses (GNC) as required by Section 18 of the Nurses and Midwives Act No 31 of 1997 and thus did not have the requisite authorization to operate a private nursing college. The Plaintiffs shall aver at trial that this came as a shock to them as they had been made to pay a mandatory non refundable GNC indexing fee of K280 at the commencement of the programme,” read the statement of claim.
Mulenga and others further told the court that they had spent about K65,000 each on transport, accommodation and food for the duration of their studies which turned out to be illegal.
“The Plaintiffs shall aver at trial that they will be made to spend the above expenses again at another institution where they would have to do the program afresh and incur the same expenses that they had spent while with Northrise University…the Defendants have caused delay in time the Plaintiffs ought to have completed their education and started earning an income,” read the statement of claim.
The students are also claiming punitive damages, interests of the sums found due and costs incidental to the action.