A Kitwe peasant farmer is seeking financial assistance from well-wishers to settle tuition fees for his son who risks being kicked out of university for owing the institution in excess of K24,640,00.

Lewis Washama explained to News Diggers! in a walk-in interview that his son, James, who is a fourth year student at Mukuba University, would not be allowed to sit for his final examinations this November if he did not settle his balance.

Washama said the situation had been exacerbated after the running of Mukuba University was placed under the Copperbelt University (CBU), whose management did not allow anyone to attend classes or sit for any examination without paying.

Washama said he had been to several institutions, including the Ministry of Higher Education to ask for assistance for his child, but that he could not get any assistance as the Ministry of Higher Education only promised him that the students’ loan scheme, which could have assisted his son, would only be introduced next year at Mukuba University.

“My name is Lewis Washama, I am 66 years old. I am peasant farmer. I have a son who is studying Mathematics and Chemistry and Mukuba University in Kitwe. He is in his fourth year this year and he has been denied to write the final examinations because he is owing the institution K24,640.00. Unless he pays and clears this amount, that’s when he will be allowed to write the examinations. I am, therefore, appealing to well-wishers who can be able to assist my child to proceed and write the examinations. I actually went to the Ministry of Higher education, where I was advised to look for other sponsors who can come to my aid. Then I was also looking for the loan scheme, but it has not yet been implemented by the Ministry of Higher Education [at Mukuba University]. I was, however, told that this loan scheme will be implemented next year in January. So at the moment, I was refereed to see some other sponsors,” Washama explained.

Asked how he managed to keep his son in school all these years, Washama narrated that he had been using his personal earnings as a peasant farmer until in 2017 when he could no longer afford to continue doing so.

“He was enrolled in 2015 and I have been paying for him since then. But then I have been struggling to pay for him because I am just a peasant farmer, I was struggling to pay bit by bit. Then in the third year of his studies, I failed to meet the requirement and that’s when I appealed to the District Commissioner for Kitwe, Mr Binwell Mpundu, who wrote a letter to the Vice Chancellor to allow my child to proceed to the third year, so he was allowed and that’s how the amount accumulated to this K24,000 now because he was just learning on credit basis. So, now in this fourth year, the university has totally refused to allow him to learn without paying because the Mukuba University is now run by the Copperbelt University (CBU). So, the conditions are very strict; they can’t allow my child to write exams, unless I clear this balance. So, I am appealing to well-wishers who can be able to assist me to offset this amount,” explained Washama.

For anyone willing to assist, Washama left the following contact numbers on which he could be reached.

“I am a peasant farmer, I cannot meet this figure, it’s too much. My phone numbers are; +260 977 189 264, +260 969 794 007, +260 955 424 533. I am staying in Kitwe, Chimwemwe Compound.”

In January last year, Washama approached Kitwe District Commissioner Binwell Mpundu, who in turn wrote to Mukuba University to allow James proceed with his third year studies without paying, since he was vulnerable. But the university is still insisting that James would not be allowed to write his exams until he pays.

“The aforementioned is a third year student at your university. The family has failed to raise tuitions fees for him to continue his education. It is against this background that I write to your good office to enable him proceed to third year for he is vulnerable and just looking for well-wishers to help him raise the said tuition fees. His parents have promised to sell a property of land for them to [raise] monies for their son’s university fees,” wrote Mpundu.