UNIVERSITY of Zambia (UNZA) Vice-Chancellor Professor Luke Mumba says management is still analysing the petition raised by UNZALARU against the appointment the new Dean of Students Dr Jason Mwanza and spokesperson Brenda Bukowa, amid concerns of alleged irregularities.

Last week, University of Zambia Lecturers’ and Researchers’ Union (UNZALARU) president Dr Evans Lampi wrote a letter to Prof Mumba, asking him to cancel Dr Mwanza’s appointment as Dean of Students due to alleged irregularities that accompanied his selection to the management position.

UNZALARU also said it was disappointing that at a time when the institution was grappling with inadequate funding from the central government, Management decided to create a totally unnecessary position of UNZA Spokesperson.

“We, the Executive Committee of the University of Zambia Lecturers’ and Researchers’ Union (UNZALARU), write to request you to immediately nullify the employment of Dr Jason Mwanza as the new Dean of Students Affairs at the University of Zambia for glaring irregularities. We must state from the onset that we have nothing personal against Dr Mwanza, who, as you might know, was until his appointment a member of the Union, arising from his position as a Lecturer in the Department of Social Work and Sociology, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and a subscribed member of UNZALARU. As a matter of opinion, we believe that Dr Mwanza retains both the necessary qualifications and experience to take up the position of Dean of Students, given that he has previously served as Acting Deputy Dean of Students Affairs and is in possession of the academic credentials that the job requires. Our opposition to Dr Mwanza’s appointment emanates from the glaring irregularities that accompanied his selection to this Management position, irregularities that betray the core values of the University of Zambia,” read the letter

“There are two reasons why we refuse to stand and watch you or any members of the University slaughter, with impunity, the essential values of this public institution that we all love, and why we insist that the appointment of Dr Mwanza must be reversed with immediate effect. The first is that Dr Mwanza never applied for the position of Dean of Students. Instead, he was simply invited for formal interviews for the position alongside two other academic members of staff; these are Prof Boniface Namangala from the Institute of Distance Education and Prof Osbert Sikazwe from the School of Mines. Like Dr Mwanza, both Prof Namangala and Prof Sikazwe never, at any time, applied for the position of Dean of Students. Even more odd is that the other two interviewees do not qualify to be considered for the position in the first place,” wrote Dr Lampi.

But Prof Mumba said management did not currently have an official position on the petition or the alleged procedural irregularities.

“Management is still looking at the matter. We will give you an official position later. At the moment, there is no response to that,” said Prof Mumba told News Diggers! in a brief interview.