Former ZANASU vice-president Prince Ndoyi says the opportunity given to the students’ body to host the 2019 Southern African Student Union (SASU) summit has shamed the Higher Education Minister Professor Nkandu Luo who recently labeled the union illegal.

Ndoyi, who is now the principal policy analyst in the office of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD)’s National Secretary has called on former student leaders to support ZANASU by collectively voicing out their encouragement to the student body.

Recently, Higher Education Minister Professor Nkandu Luo announced government’s intentions to ban all students unions in all institutions of higher learning, calling them illegal and unnecessary.

But in a statement yesterday, Ndoyi noted that development was on indictment on Professor Luo because it proved her allegations wrong.

And Ndoyi stated that any funny gymnastics from Prof Luo to prevent ZANASU from hosting the SASU summit would imply that President Edgar Lungu supported her attacks on students unions.

“This is an indictment on the minister who has gone on an all out attack on students unions, banning their existence and exterminating the critical voices of students. We all await the position of government on this milestone achievement. Because by implication, the Zambian government has been impliedly recognised as making strides in advancing the welfare of students in the region especially during the liberation struggle. This opportunity given to ZANASU is not in isolation but a collective achievement, and therefore exposes our Minister of Higher Education on all accounts,” Ndoyi stated.

“This is not a political event, but I want to warn her that the moment our Minister of Higher Education will try any funny gymnastics, this issue will now become political and reflect badly on President Lungu who until now I believe doesn’t agree with her entirely on this issue of banning students activities at the main three public universities. [And], Isn’t this an embarrassment on Madam Nkandu Luo, that the ZANASU she calls illegal has won Zambia an international acclaim on students academic freedoms? Refusing to host this summit, is also in a way denying Zambia’s role in the liberation struggle. Because this decision by the SASU executive was arrived purely in recognition of that fundamental role Zambia played especially students unions in the liberation of the region.”

Ndoyi also called on former student leaders to protect the milestone in students’ politics by supporting ZANASU and ensuring that the event was successfully hosted.

He urged PF deputy media director Antonio Mwanza, who is a current honorary member of ZANASU, to categorically support the hosting of the summit.

“We want to hear the voices of former students leaders and former ZANASU leaders themselves like Cornelius Mweetwa, Steve Kyengula, Christopher Kangombe, Antonio Mwanza come out strongly here and support ZANASU. Fortunately, the current PF deputy media director, Mr Antonio Mwanza is a current honorary member of ZANASU as bestowed in the last congress of 2017 for his impeccable leadership in the students movement during his tenure as UNZASU president,” stated Ndoyi.