Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya yesterday angered members of the public when she sent out a tweet saying government could not continue funding drunkness and violence at UNZA.
Siliya also tweeted that unruly students who started the riot on October 6 were responsible for Vespers’ death.
Siliya, was among thousands who attended Vespers’ requiem mass at the UNZA SDA church along Katimamulilo Road in Lusaka.
When the service ended, some angry students hurled unprintables at the Information Minister, demanding an apology for claiming that the protest at UNZA had been sponsored by the opposition.
“Hule! (prostitute),” the students were heard shouting as they surged towards her.
Siliya, however, was immediately whisked away to her ministerial vehicle by ministry staff.
When approached by journalists for a comment, Siliya declined to give an interview before her car drove off.
A few minutes later, however, Siliya tweeted; “I attended the service for Vespers. Mostly calm but for a few drank students who feel shouting unpalatables at Govt serves them well. We need to dialogue on how to fund higher education going forward. Tax payers supporting drankness and violence at UNZA can’t continue”, sparking outrage from her followers.
Miss Bwalya replied: As a taxpayer I ask you not to speak on my behalf on this one. Speak on behalf of the cabinet and your boss. Your government’s ineptitude and ‘drankness’ has led us to this dark hour.
blacktwiter replied: Actually it’s more painful to realize that our tax payers money is wasted in paying your salary and allowances, I just wonder when you are getting fired, you are undoubtedly the most useless chief government spokesperson our country has ever produced.
Choolwe Chuma replied: But Dora you irritate. This post was going to be solely about Vespers if you genuinely cared. But no, in your ‘learned’ capacity, you had to throw in a couple of jabs. Zero empathy.
Henri Mwanabaleya II replied: Baby girl check your spellings. We need to dialogue also on why Tax payers money should pay ministers who can’t even spell correctly!!! It’s Drunk n Drunkenness.
Mullie wrote: Out of all the things you could choose to speak on this is your best?? Some ones’ child died,some ones sister,friend, loved one..And this is your pressing issue? Tamwa kwatako aka nsoni or even pretend to be sympathetic. Umm mmm shame!
Chilufya Tayali wrote: Yaba! This one…. it is emotive from a Govt Spokesperson. We can’t generalize like that, in my view some of these people uttering unpalatables are not even students but cadre from that party.
Despite the backlash, Siliya sent out another tweet, blaming “unruly” students for Vespers’ death.
“A few unruly students who started a riot night of 4 oct, endangering the lives of other students, the Public and the Police for no apparent reason according to UNZA press release, as money was expected 6 Oct, must be the first to take responsibility for the death of Vespers,” tweeted Siliya, soliciting more scorn from her followers.
Negro Swan wrote: 1) Investigate the instruction the police operate under and ensure it is amended to ensure that NONE of this (burning of rooms &/or death) ever happens again. 2)Discipline those responsible for this blatant abuse of power 3)Resign 4)Really, do Number 3.
Cuthbert wrote: Does HH pay students their allowances? Was it HH that stopped Student Unionism and left students without a way to air out grievances?
Tobias Daka wrote: Even if you’re government spokesperson and you’re suppose to tell all lies they tell you. Sometimes it’s to refuse. Self respect.
Obvious tweets wrote: Honorable are you aware how far hunger can push a person. The money students get is already barely enough and add to that the delays what did you expect. You dissolved unions and you silenced all modes of dialogue and you refuse to listen #justiceforVespers
Ian Mutale wrote: What about the mother to the deceased? How did she look? Did you talk to her and reassure her on how she lives moving forward? Did you also see her family members who were so hopeful for their child in 4th year and looking forward to starting her life? Only drunk students?
Racheal wrote: Throwing tear gas canisters through windows into the girls hostels in response to a peaceful protest is excessive force. The excessiveness of the force used is evident in the fact that VESPERS IS DEAD.