Some Mukuba University students today rioted over management’s decision to bar those owing the institution from writing their exams.
But Mukuba University registrar Mwala Sheba says the institution has facilitated for the students to write exams as long they commit themselves to settle the debt.
A student spoken to narrated that the protests started yesterday.
“The riots started yesterday and they are going on now actually and some students are hiding in boarding houses. There are police searching and still picking a few students. Some of them have even left the campus,” narrated the affected student.
“They are saying if you have not paid 80 percent of what you are owing the school, you will not write the exams and we are starting our exams next week. Our fees are K5, 000 per term. There are those who have been coming to school without paying for one or two years because the time we had a meeting management said they discovered that some students where owing up to K15,000 or K22, 000. So management said if you have not paid 80 per cent of what you are owing, you will not write the exams. Yesterday we had a meeting where we were told that if you have K4,000 or less, you will write the exams but if you have above K4,000 will not write,” said another student.
In an interview, Sheba told News Diggers! that the academic handbook indicated that students with balances would be excluded from writing exams but that they engaged parents and students to come up with a mutually beneficial resolution.
“The exams are going on. The requirement of students to be in a university is to be ready to pay the tuition fees. The university should be funded from grants and tuition fees paid by students. If they don’t pay, then it means the university will not operate. It is a requirement. So what we have just done is to facilitate. The 2016 academic regulation book says all students must pay fees three months before the end of third term. And those who do not pay, they should be excluded. That is what the handbook says,” said Sheba.
“Those who are owing up to K4, 000 have been automatically granted to write. So we have facilitated to allow those who are owing above K4, 000. If they give us a plan that shows us that they are going to pay, it is fine.”
By press time, Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga was reported to be in a meeting and could not make a comment.