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UNZA riot enters day two as management begs students to stay calmBy Thomas Mulenga on 29 May 2017
University of Zambia (UNZA) students have started another riot despite heavy police presence at the Great East Campus.
Last night, the students exchanged stones and teargas with police officers who tried to stop their violent protest over the on-going lecturers’ go-slow and delayed payments of project and accommodation allowances.
Calm was restored around 02:00 hours today and it is still unclear if any students were picked up for riotous behaviour as police have not yet issued a statement despite numerous queries.
But around 15:00 hours today, students starts mobilising and burning tires at the male hostels popularly known as the Monk Square despite several officers still patrolling the institution.
Several students were seen scampering for safety knowing too well that tear gas would soon be fired.
However, UNZA Public Relations manager Damaseke Chibale has called on students to remain calm as management and government work on finding a lasting solution to end the current go-slow by lecturers.
In an interview, Chibale said management was doing everything possible to ensure that the ongoing go-slow by lecturers is brought under control.
“Negotiations are going on and quite advanced and positive results will be coming. So in the meantime there is no need to panic and for students to get overly conscious over the matter and I think they should be sorted in the shortest possible time, it is something that we all know has been outstanding for quite a long time and we know government has been listening and it is going to take positive steps and the discussion of course is taking a bit of time but it will definitely come to a positive conclusion,” said Chibale.
When asked if the current go-slow would affect mid-year exams, Chibale said management was trying hard to ensure that the exams are not disturbed.
“We are very confident that positive results will come out of that and we’ll continue as per schedule for this year,” said Chibale.
About Thomas Mulenga
Thomas Mulenga is a fourth year Media Studies student at the University of Zambia. He is also a presenter for UNZA Radio's Lusaka Star programme which focuses on politics and current affairs.
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