In this audio, Higher Education Minister Professor Nkandu Luo says she has not looked at the law and neither is she “Minster of the University of Zambia” for her to know whether it is within the law for the institution to bar 8000 owing students.

Recently, University of Zambia (UNZA) public relations manager Damaseke Chibale revealed that the institution was owed K58 million from 8,000 students and advised them to pay up if they are to write exams this month.

National Planning and Development Minister Lucky Mulusa, however, said it was unconstitutional for universities to send away students who were about to write exams simply because their parents had not paid school fees.

“I was shocked yesterday to read about UNZASU (University of Zambia Students Union) saying, they support blocking of students who haven’t paid their school fees from writing exams. It is unconstitutional. The Constitution has got a provision for access to education, both private and public institutions should stop sending away students from because their parents have not paid, refusing them from writing exams because their parents have not paid. It is wrong. There are other means you can use in collecting fees and one of the ways is withholding the results. Somebody will look for the money and come and pay you,” said Mulusa.

But when asked to react to Mulusa’s sentiments, Prof Luo said she could not comment because she had not read the law.

“I am not the one who made that comment so why do you want me to comment on somebody’s comment? I haven’t looked at the law so I don’t know and I don’t want to be commenting on things that I don’t know. If you want to know, ask the management of the university, I am Minister of Higher Education, am not Minister of University of Zambia so that decision was made by the University of Zambia so you call them and get their comment,” Prof Luo said.
When reminded that UNZA fell under her ministry, said; “Look, the problem with you the media is that you want to be dwelling on negatives all the time so just deal with the University of Zambia, I didn’t hear the comment that honourable Mulusa made, how do I start commenting on things I haven’t read?”

“I speak English very well, so if you think I don’t understand…I cannot comment on things that I did not hear,” said Prof Luo before cutting the call.

Take a listen: