The Constitution Reform and Education Coalition (CRECO) says allegations by Laura Miti and her Alliance for Community Action (ACA) that Chrizzima Democracy University is not a registered institution of higher learning exposes her ignorance.

On Monday, the ACA fact-checking team shared a statement in which it challenged the legality of the just-ended National Dialogue Forum (NDF) by questioning the legitimacy of some institutions, such as the Chrizzima University, which defended the resolutions of the NDF along with some civil society organisations.

But reacting to the allegations by the ACA research team, CRECO chairperson Hyde Haguta said Chrizzima University was a private research institution, which is registered under the Companies Act of the laws of Zambia.

“The article by the Laura Miti-led Alliance for Community Action Zambia (ACA) titled: ‘Was National Dialogue Forum (NDF) illegally attended by unregistered entity?’ exposes ignorance rather than research at ACA on the lawful requirements for registration and operations of universities in Zambia, but also reflects the growing pettiness, which characterises the work of our dear colleagues in civil society. It is unfortunate that our sister, Laura Miti, and her entire NGO can start looking for the living among the dead. How come at her level, her entire crew of researchers and funders of the so-called research failed to know that legal registration of universities in Zambia is done by PACRA?” Haguta asked.

“Chrizzima Democracy University (CDU) is a private university registered under the Companies Act of the laws of Zambia since 2012. Laura and her NGO, in spending resources from their funders, should have cared to know that not all registered universities immediately accredit or are compelled to accredit with the Higher Education Authority (HEA) unless when they want to publicly offer courses or academic programmes. CDU is currently not offering any course or programme, but research, consultancy, and implement projects, hence it’s not being accredited with HEA as universities only accredit courses and programmes.”

Haguta stated that there was nothing that could have stopped Chrizzima University from attending the NDF as long as the conveners of the process had invited the institution.

“NDF had members as provided under Section 5 of the National Dialogue Forum Act and was, by provision of Section 9, open to members of the public, all legally registered institutions and interested Zambians who could attend in various statuses. Further, Ms Miti and her team of researchers should also have known better that the NDF had powers to invite any person whose presence is in its opinion desirable to attend and to participate in the deliberations of a meeting or sitting of the Forum. CRECO is not surprised by the emptiness of the so-called research done by Laura Miti and her NGO. By now, it is common knowledge that our sister, Laura Miti and her NGO, thrives by exciting a few gullible minds and creating social media frenzy over non-issues!” said Haguta.

“We know Laura has a duty to her funders and members to show they are doing some ‘incredible’ work through conducting such half-backed research, but it should begin ringing bells in the minds of reasonable members of society why an NGO could reduce itself to having a research unit of paid-up individuals who poorly conduct their ‘research’ to justify usage of resources by preying on the ignorance of others on registration of private universities, but also exciting funders whom they need to report their findings to.”