THE Copperbelt University Council’s conduct has the ability to promote industrial unrest which is likely to disturb the institution’s academic calendar, says Zambia Congress of Trade Unions.
During a media briefing yesterday at Solidarity house in Kitwe, union president Chishimba Nkole said the caretaker committee at the Copperbelt University had no right to make decisions without writing to the Ministry of Higher Education.
Nkole said the caretaker committee had not submitted recommendations of a joint ad hoc report to the Ministry of Higher Education after studying the grievances between CBU vice chancellor Professor Naison Ngoma and the stakeholder unions.
He said as much as the caretaker committee had been given full responsibility to handle affairs of the university, it had not done its job well in fulfilling its purpose.
Nkole said if the caretaker committee ignored its legal mandate provided for by Section 7 of part one of the third schedule of the Higher Education Act No. 4 of 2013, next year’s academic activity might be affected.
He said the interest of the university should be put first and that provisions of the Higher Education Act should be respected.
“The congress is also aware that the joint ad hoc committee submitted its report to CBU Caretaker Committee. However, the CTC has not written to Prof Nkandu Luo on the recommendations of the joint ad hoc committee report. This is a matter of public interest and we feel that the public has the right to know everything that is happening at the university. Therefore, it is important that the public is aware of the recommendations because ZCTU believes that the way the university council is handling the impasse at CBU has the potential to promote further industrial unrest at the university,” Nkole said.Meanwhile, Nkole has said “corruption is stinking in Zambia” and “there is need for leaders to change the dirty image they have created to the international world”.
He said it was embarrassing that the United Kingdom had suspended funding to Zambia due to corruption.
On Wednesday, President Edgar Lungu fired community development minister Emerine Kabanshi following allegations of misappropriation of US$4.3m meant for vulnerable Zambians.
Nkole said corruption should be fought through actions and should not only remain on the lips of individuals.“It is very sad to know that donor aid or funding has been suspended and this is not the first time that we have heard of such occurring in this country and there is high corruption in this country. It is embarrassing and when we are fighting corruption, it should not only be on our lips but should be fought from the heart and something really needs to be done,” he said.
Nkole said it was sad that Zambia was now internationally known as a dishonest nation.He said the government was supposed to put responsible people who could handle public funds and not those with selfish motives.Nkole said foreign countries would not trust Zambia with funds, therefore the government should work hard in curbing the vice.And Nkole said it is disappointing for people to steal money meant for the vulnerable.He said leaders lobby money in the name of the vulnerable and yet the poor did not even benefit from it.“What has happened right now needs to be worked on seriously without any pretence and that tag needs to be removed because Zambians who have gone out of the country will also be looked at as being corrupt and we commend the UK for showing the world that there are consequences to corruption,” Nkole said.He said the government should conduct serious investigations as it was possible that the money had landed into various hands.
Nkole said disbursement of money required the involvement of more people and firing one person was not enough.