Pilato launches “Open CBU” online campaign

By Thomas Mulenga
Satirical singer Chama Fumba alias Pilato, has launched an online campaign dubbed “#Open CBU”, hoping to compel government to reopen the Copperbelt University.

Fumba says Minister of Higher Education Professor Nkandu Luo should come back to her right frame of reasoning and re-open the institution.

In an interview, Fumba said closing CBU after failing to pay students their meal allowances was not a solution.

“I would want to remind people that a very important institution has been closed for more than a month now, it’s not normal that we should ignore that closure because it’s costly to the nation and its future. A lot of dreams have been put on hold, it should not be normal, society must say no to that. We understand the President and the minister (of higher education) are very emotional human beings, but you can’t run institutions of higher learning in such a manner of closing them whenever you fail to solve a problem,” Fumba said.

“The minister should stop being arrogant and go back to her right frame of reasoning; closing universities cannot be her only response to the challenges facing these institutions. Failure to pay students meal allowances and even salaries for lecturers shows the failure on the part of the minister and she must not think that people are dull not to see what she is doing to cover up her failures.”

He called on other citizens to demand the re-opening of CBU.

“So basically, I am raising awareness on the need for people to speak out and compel the government to re-open the institution. The students who have been sent home cannot not speak out because they are probably afraid of being victimized further, that’s the reason why people should stand up and speak out for them. The people who have closed CBU are powerful of course, but they are not more powerful than the people. It is in such times that people should stand together and speak with one voice of reasoning in demanding that the right thing is done,” Fumba said.

Fumba said CBU should be re-opened without any conditions, arguing that keeping the institution closed was denying students an opportunity to realise their dreams.

“The President and the minister must remember that CBU and other institutions are not theirs, there are for all Zambians. They are merely managing these institutions on behalf of all citizens. They can manage to close the institution and pretend as if nothing has happened, because their children do not go to these institutions, their children are sent abroad. But it is the children of the poor citizens of this country who are being delayed and eventually delayed to realise their dreams,” stated Fumba.

“We are therefore demanding for the unconditional re-opening of CBU, whether with or without security features that the minister is talking about, let students go back to school and later on they can work on those things. In the past CBU has operated very well without those security features she is talking about, how is it today that security has become more important than the future of students?”