THE opposition National Democratic Congress on the Copperbelt says the decision was harsh and unfair both to the student and the nation. NDC Copperbelt chairman Chipoka Mulenga said his party would never support students’ violence, but expulsion would never be the answer to curb the vice.

“In as much as NDC Copperbelt Province leadership detests student violence at all learning institutions in the country, primarily CBU and UNZA, we feel expulsion is not and will never be the answer to curb the vice. The expulsion of Lawrence Kasonde, the COBUSU president, a fourth year Mining Engineering student from CBU, is quite harsh and unfair, both to the victim and the nation,” Mulenga said.

“As NDC on the Copperbelt, we humbly ask the CBU Vice Chancellor Prof Ngoma to reconsider his decision and reinstate the student with a lesser punishment that will still enable him to complete his studies and become resourceful to the much needed tax payers and engineering professionals in the country.”

Mulenga said Kasonde, along with others, had already suffered stress and fatigue from a lengthy closure of the institution.

“It is punishment enough. The expulsion is the last thing that must be done. Kasonde is just a year away from completing his studies,” he noted. “The government of Zambia has invested heavily in his four years of university education through allowances and academic knowledge, all that must not be thrown in a drain. On behalf of Lawrence Kasonde and his family, as NDC on the Copperbelt, we ask the university leadership to consider reinstating Kasonde and reopening the Copperbelt University as soon as possible.”

Mulenga said the continued closure of CBU was a choke to the national elite.

“The continued closure of the institution is a chock to the national elite of professions that will have serious professional gaps in years ahead and subsequently justify the need to have local jobs outsourced. Prof Ngoma, as a parent and academician, consider reinstating Kasonde,” pleaded Mulenga. “We further call on students across the country to desist from resorting to violence as a means of expressing themselves. Violence is never a solution to anything but a fuel to problems. We ask the Ministry of Education to take full responsibility in addressing university and student needs in time to avoid unnecessary squabbles.”

Copperbelt University Students Union president Lawrence Kasonde has been expelled from the institution.

The fourth year Mining Engineering student has been expelled for allegedly masterminding the protest that led to the indefinite closure of the institution. The decision comes after students including Kasonde apologised to higher education minister Nkandu Luo and President Edgar Lungu over the protest. But management has thrown out an appeal Kasonde filed in and has upheld the minister’s decision to expel the students. CBU Vice Chancellor Professor Naison Ngoma in a letter dated June 17, 2019 addressed to Kasonde, stated that the decision was final.

“After a careful consideration of your case, I write to inform you that your appeal was unsuccessful and the earlier decision made by the university and conveyed by the Registrar in the letter dated 25th April 2019 is hereby upheld,” stated Prof Ngoma.

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