Higher Education Minister Dr Brian Mushimba has announced that the Copperbelt University which was closed indefinitely by his predecessor Professor Nkandu Luo will be reopened on August 19, 2019.
And Dr Mushimba has lifted the suspension of all the students who were cited by the institution and further reversed the expulsion of all expelled students, reducing their status to suspension.
Meanwhile, Mushimba told journalists at a media briefing, Wednesday, that the cost of repair for the damage caused to the Copperbelt University had been assessed and would be shared by all the students.
“As a ministry and as government, we have agreed that CBU be reopened on August 19th which is three weeks from now. That decision has been arrived at after an extensive consultative process with all stakeholders. You all know how CBU was closed and the riotous behaviour from the students that drove government’s hand to close the institution. So we had to make sure that we speak to many of the contributory factors that led to the closure and until we were comfortable that those matters were addressed, government was not going to reopen the institution. We are comfortable now that those matters have been addressed,” Dr Mushimba said.
“And building on that, certainly there were additional concerns that drove this process to arrive at reopening the institution in three weeks’ time, one of them being the ranking of the institution which we value. Secondly, we were also mindful that we have academic years which were impacted.”
Dr Mushimba said the ministry had made good progress in installation of CCTV cameras at CBU.
And Dr Mushimba said all students would bear the cost of repairs of all damaged property.
“The caution and warning from government is that this teachable moment be taken as such. This olive branch needs to be taken as seriously as government has taken it and that students need to desist and avoid interacting in elements that predisposes them to making bad decisions that can impact their education and consequently impact their future. Refuse to be used by elements that want to drive their agenda. As we reopen CBU in three weeks, the damage that was caused to the institution and to public property has been assessed and those costs will be spread across all the students as they come back from this break. It’s a statement that says there are consequences to your actions,” Dr Mushimba said.
Meanwhile, Dr Mushimba lifted the suspension of all the students who were cited by the institution and further reversed the expulsion of all expelled students, reducing their status to suspension.
“I would like to announce here that all students that were suspended, the suspension has been lifted with one caveat that that surcharge that is going to be charged across all students will be behaviour on those students that were suspended because they were identified to have been somewhat on the forefront of causing this mayhem. Those students that were expelled, we have also removed at expulsion and brought them into a suspension status which gives them an opportunity with right behaviour, contrition and remorse and the appealing process to be reconsidered for readmission in the future,” said Dr Mushimba.