by Tenson Mkhala on 20 Jul 2019by Natasha Sakala on 20 Jul 2019by Julia Malunga on 20 Jul 2019by Ulande Nkomesha on 19 Jul 2019
- Goal Diggers
by Mirriam Chabala on 18 Jul 2019by Natasha Sakala on 18 Jul 2019by Diggers Correspondent on 18 Jul 2019by Joseph Mwenya in Kabwe on 17 Jul 2019
by Zondiwe Mbewe on 19 Jul 2019by Zondiwe Mbewe on 18 Jul 2019by Zondiwe Mbewe on 18 Jul 2019by Zondiwe Mbewe on 18 Jul 2019
- Editor's Choice
by Diggers Correspondent on 24 May 2019by Diggers Reporter on 4 Mar 2019by Andyford Mayele Banda on 29 Jan 2019by Davies Mwila on 22 Jan 2019
by Diggers Editor on 20 Jul 2019by Diggers Editor on 19 Jul 2019by Diggers Editor on 16 Jul 2019by Diggers Editor on 14 Jul 2019
by Web Master on 27 Jun 2019by Mirriam Chabala on 26 Jun 2019by Martha Mwanza and Felix Kashweka on 21 Jun 2019by Zondiwe Mbewe on 7 Jun 2019
- Guest Diggers
by Dr Chisoni Mumba, PhD on 22 Jun 2019by Chewe Chishala on 22 Jun 2019by Chibamba Kanyama on 11 Jun 2019by Chibamba Kanyama on 28 May 2019
UNZA lecturer pens emotional letter to Lungu over crisis at institutionBy Diggers Editor on 24 Apr 2019
OPEN LETTER TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA MR. EDGAR LUNGU
By Tiyaonse Kabwe
C/O Department of Development Studies
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
The University of Zambia,
Tuesday April, 16, 2019
INTERVENE AND SAVE UNZA
I wish to begin my letter with a disclaimer. My intentions should not be mistaken. I am no one’s front. I represent no opposition party, union or administration. My letter to you, Comrade President, is in exercise of my freedom of expression, as a concerned citizen of our country.
There is a crisis at UNZA which has escalated to such magnitude that only you, Comrade President, can step in and resolve. The Minister of Higher education cannot help. She has no sympathy. She is full of threats. Unions have been threatened with de-registration. Lecturers and other employees have been threatened with dismissals. Those who have been grieved with delayed salary payments have been asked to resign. She wants no dialogue with unions because
she believes they do not march up to her intellectual capacity.
This request to you Comrade President to intervene and help is not unusual. You are the helmsman of our nation. You are the one who must be called upon when all else has failed. You have the capacity because you have the power. Cde Kenneth Kaunda too had suggested to the University administration in his UNZA golden Jubilee commemoration speech that they should, if need be, knock on your door for help because during times of turbulence he himself used to intervene and keep the university afloat.
The crisis has been mounting. The teaching infrastructure has hardly expanded beyond its 1967
capacity. The student population has been swelling from year while those of lecturers have remained stagnant. Teacher- student ratio in some departments such as Development studies is as high as 1:400 students, when the normal ratio is only 1:13. Some departments and schools have rallies but without the aid of the usual public address systems. Tutorial teaching has long vanished in certain courses where there is either no space or adequate manpower to conduct them. There is at most congestion in students’ hostels with no supporting infrastructure such as
adequate ablution blocks and cooking facilities. All but one dining hall are now lecture thearters.
Students receive insufficient bursaries or loans and there has been an unlawful decision to curtail their meal allowances. The insufficiency of student’s loans has resulted in their inability to do course registration in time, a factor that leads to withholding and chaotic processing of results. The rest of the infrastructure is rundown, There are rainfall water leakages in many places. There is hardly any water in some Departments’ toilets, The University library which is UNZA’s seat of learning and excellence is now an empty shell. Some of its sections such as special collections have been declared unhealthy and closed to students. Shelves everywhere are either empty or staffed with outdated literature. Information technology has been difficult to updated. Access to worldwide academic literature has been hampered by lack of funds for subscriptions. There is hardly any space for teaching. Lecturers cannot subscribe to international journals nor access new books in their fields because UNZA can no longer afford to pay for such subscriptions.
UNZA can no longer sponsor participants to international academic forums. Academic research is not excelling, owing to lack of funds. Consultancy research arising from personal initiatives of individual academics is being frustrated or discouraged by new regulations, such as raising consultation tax arising from a genuine bid to raise more revenue. There is little or no movement in the payment of long outstanding pensions and gratuities. Some employees have had to die without the benefits of receiving their hard earned entitlements. To crown it all salaries have now stopped coming in time. The March salaries have not been paid. Lecturers’, students’, and employees’ morale is at its lowest, souls have been injured. Spirits have been dampened. Work stoppages are yet again looming. There seems to be no solution in sight. The faint light at the end of the tunnel has faded.
Comrade President, I submit that the mounting crisis has nothing to do with the so called politicisation of UNZA by opposition parties neither is it due to the alleged poor administration of the institution. It is nothing but poor government funding.
Granted, and as the Government spokesperson indicated, a grant aided institution like UNZA should strive to stand on its own feet finally. It is the reason why Cde KK and UNIP provided UNZA with so many houses and farms. However, what should be appreciated is that the institution’s capacity to fend for itself has long been eroded. The reckless stripping of government institutions’ asserts started by Chiluba’s MMD government never spared UNZA. It’s not only lost its numerous and valuable houses but also gave away huge chunks of its farm lands. UNZA assets were also depleted by known characters in MMD government positions who helped themselves with additional portions of land. Owing to certain combination of factors York farm is not performing. Liempe farm has remained a white elephant and has been shrinking in Size.
Indeed government resources may not be permitting. But there is a question of prioritisation. There are certain things that must always come first especially those upon which the realisation of other national needs depend. It is a long established fact that education is the foundation of national development. It is the key that unlocks all human potential. It gives hope to the hopeless, defeats poverty, overcomes human degradation, and sets all manner of human captives free. UNZA is this country’s university. It is the original, it is highest and flagship of our education and training programs. It is our national pride and the foundation of our national development. For instance, there were numerous other pressing needs at the time the university was being conceived of.
The country had emerged from colonialism having no resources but faced with numerous needs. In choosing to construct the university the government never started by having money. It was the governments will and commitment that made them find the resources they required. Ordinary people were called upon to sacrifice. Friendly nations came forward and the wonderful dream was finally realised. The concept had been well conceived Cde Kenneth Kaunda and his wise team of ministers, despite their humble education chose not to settle for yet another university collage whose courses would be determined by some mother universities abroad. Instead, they chose to have our own indigenous university which would develop the type of courses that would meet our own unique and specific needs.
The main entrance to the university library have the following words inscribed on a plate: “Let this legend of self-sacrifice, on the part of poor people never be forgotten by generations to come. let it remain as an inspiration to all so that every good that shall come out of this building shall be to the greater glory of the people”. The words were spoken by Cde KK at the opening of the university library. It was a reminder to all generations to come that they should not forget that UNZA had been built for the purpose of helping the poor overcome their poverty and live full human lives. It was an appeal to all succeeding governments not to change this original concept of our university. It was the lasting wish of Cde. Kenneth Kaunda, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe, Ruben Chintandika Kamanga, Nalumino Mundia, Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula, Mama Julia Mulenga Chikamoneka, Alexanda Gray Zulu, Sikota and Arthur Wina, Matthias Mainza Chona, Mama Chibesa Kankasa and of all those other well-meaning persons that had gathered to cause the university to happen. It was the last will our thoughtful fore fathers left for every generation to come. It is the will we must honour.
Comrade President, all I am saying is that kindly step in and help UNZA. If you do what is right for UNZA, and if you do it right now, when you have the ability to achieve, you will, when you are no longer in that highest office, have every pride in looking over your shoulders, and nodding with utmost satisfaction, that you did what was right for UNZA and what was right for Zambians.
cc. Amos Chanda
Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations
About Diggers Editor
The Editor of News Diggers gets to decide what is published.
Email: editor [at] diggers [dot] news.
- Senegal, Algeria made it with local coaches, why can’t Zambia do it? - 20 Jul 2019
- The nonsense of paying $25, 000 to foreign coach, and masese to local trainer - 19 Jul 2019
- Wynter is right, FIC not the problem, sticky fingers are - 16 Jul 2019
- If opposition Alliance fails, PF will only need to show up on election day - 14 Jul 2019
- Like we warned, taxpayers are now paying KCM salaries - 13 Jul 2019
- Lungu fires Mawere, transfers Chitotela, Luo
- Registrar explains how Lungu applied to add the name "Chagwa" on NRC
- Independent MPs can't stop Bill with compromised UPND - Chabi
- Nothing wrong with selling KCM to Chinese - Negotiating team
- Don't beat us, tell us where we're going wrong, Minister Kafwaya urges Zambians
- Firing people just because they served previous govt is wrong – RB
- Low copper prices will lead to worse than expected trade deficit in Zambia, predicts World Bank
- Kayombo defends Chitotela’s acquittal song
- Senegal, Algeria made it with local coaches, why can’t Zambia do it?
- Proposal to take away Parliament’s approval for loan contraction retrogressive – CTPD
Subscribe for email alerts
ArchivesAug0 PostsSep0 PostsOct0 PostsNov0 PostsDec0 Posts
- July 2019
- June 2019
- May 2019
- April 2019
- March 2019
- February 2019
- January 2019
- December 2018
- November 2018
- October 2018
- September 2018
- August 2018
- July 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
The News Diggers
Deputy News Editor
Plot No. Lus/9812/649-MC8
off Alex Chola Road
P.O. Box 32147
Telephone or WhatsApp:
diggers [at] diggers [dot] news
editor [at] diggers [dot] news
Send this to a friend