UNIVERSITY of Zambia (UNZA) and Copperbelt
University (CBU) students yesterday demanded that President Rupiah Banda
revokes the "immoral appointment" of Dora Siliya as Education
minister. In Lusaka during the class boycott, the students said they had given
President Banda, Siliya and Inspector General of Police Francis Kabonde a red
The students who had gathered at the famous monk square were led by
University of Zambia Students Union (UNZASU) president Duncan
During his address to the students, Nyirongo said it was
demeaning to the integrity of the nation and that of the students to have a
person who had failed to follow the laid-down procedures on national issues such
as Zamtel to serve as education minister.
He said the students wanted to
see action from both President Banda and Kabonde over the shooting of students
by police officers.
"So when I say I.G abash, you say IG or police, red
card. Dora Siliya abash, you say Dora Siliya, red card. Rupiah Banda abash.
Rupiah Banda, red card," Nyirongo said to the students who readily and willingly
responded by saying, "abash Kabonde, abash Siliya, abash kanitundila" [referring
to President Banda who made the same statement when a monkey urinated on him
during a recent press conference at State House in June]."
who carried red cards, raised them in approval to almost every statement
Nyirongo made during his address.
Nyirongo said it was totally immoral
and demeaning to have a person like Siliya sit in Cabinet.
He said the
students had resolved that Siliya should not even attend today's graduation
ceremony to be held at the Great East Road campus in order to ensure a peaceful
"It's unfortunate that Rupiah Banda can go to the extent of
demeaning our intelligence. It is totally unfortunate that today he has
forgotten where the party, which put him in power, came from. Today, he has the
audacity to say 'I don't want to listen to the students'," Nyirongo said. "It's
totally immoral [Siliya's appointment]. She should resign on moral grounds. The
President should remove her from office. If he fails, the students are going to
pass a vote of no confidence in him and his government."
the students would not allow injustice in the nation.
He said President
Banda was elected to serve the Zambians and not to take them for
Nyirongo said the students had lost confidence in Kabonde and
the police service because they were busy shooting students and no action was
being taken against the perpetrators.
He said journalists were also being
beaten in full view of the police and senior government
Nyirongo said the students wanted to see action from President
Banda and not just merely condemning in words.
The students moved around
the campus while others walked towards the gate in protest.
vice-president Grant Chisapa asked President Banda to start appointing people on
He said Siliya's clearance by High Court judge Philip Musonda
would not take away the fact that she flouted tender procedure by disregarding
the Attorney General's legal advice over Zamtel.
"Because of political
interference, the High Court ruled in favour of Siliya. In other countries, it
would not even take a demonstration such as this one for Siliya to resign. In
other countries, just statements from people are enough to make someone resign,"
said Chisapa. "Rupiah Banda at the moment has no regret in whatever he says. If
he can appoint Dora Siliya, then let him also appoint [MMD national secretary]
Katele Kalumba, because what is the difference anyway?"
Chisapa said the
"big man" who claimed that he would follow late president Levy Mwanawasa's
legacy had totally disappointed the nation.
And CBU students staged a
peaceful demonstration around Kitwe demanding the removal of Siliya from office
and action against the shooting of a first year student
Business in the Kitwe central business district came to a halt
as shop owners hurriedly closed their shops fearing a nasty occurrence following
the students' demonstration.
The demonstration started after a students
general meeting at the CBU monk square unanimously resolved to go on a two-day
The students expressed displeasure that their colleague,
Cornelius Mwape who was shot by the police, was still languishing in hospital
Government minister Benny Tetamashimba had been flown to South
One of the students said if the students did not do anything over
Mwape's shooting, no justice would be done in the next five to 15
He said the law needed to take its course and that going by the
happenings in the country's justice system, previous cases were used as
precedents in interpreting current and future cases.
The student said
Mwape was unable to do anything now and that he had missed classes for two
He demanded that the government needed to compensate Mwape with no
less than K20 million for the police shooting.
Students Union (COBUSU) vice president Lucky Miyanda declared that classrooms
were a no-go area for students this week.
Miyanda then asked the students
what they wanted to do and in response they demanded a peaceful demonstration
into the city centre.
COBUSU president Kasonde Mwenda then proposed that
students march through Chiwala Road using the CBU rear gate to "confuse the
The students who clearly outwitted police marched from CBU
through Chiwala Road through Freedom Avenue into President Avenue and converged
on City Square and Matuka Avenue.
The students interchanged singing of
the national anthem with chants of 'Siliya must go!' as they walked and ran
through the roads, causing panic among motorists who quickly made u-turns upon
seeing the students who brandished tree branches while
Throughout the march, the students policed themselves
preventing their fellow students from attacking motorists.
students were at City Square chanting slogans, Kitwe District police commanding
officer Nelson Phiri arrived with a few police officers and summoned Miyanda who
explained to him what the protest was about.
The police who seemed to
have been caught unawares appeared to have been doing some sort of damage
control given that it was their recent shooting incident coupled with the
students' anti-Siliya stance that sparked the protest.
arriving in their usual dramatic style of firing teargas to disperse such
crowds, police arrived quietly and were in the peripheries of the
The students moved from City Square to the Freedom Statue on
Matuka Avenue where they chanted slogans. Some striking Shoprite workers were
seen joining the students in the protest.
A senior police officers only
identified as Hachunde who was on the ground leading a few police officers armed
with teargas canisters then asked student union leaders to lead the students
away from Independence Avenue back to the City Square.
Kasonde Mwenda then told Hachunde that the police presence was attracting the
students and that the students would only move away from Independence Avenue if
he accompanied them.
Hachunde then accompanied the students and Mwenda
briefly addressed the students.
Later at City Square Mwenda also told
students that police needed to know that they were citizens beyond
He led students into anti-student-shooting chants and anti-Siliya
From the City Square, the students returned into Independence
Avenue where they marched on into Kuomboka Drive past Kitwe Central Hospital
before making a stop-over at Zambia
National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) Kitwe studios.
students just ended at the gate of the ZNBC Kitwe studios chanting anti-Siliya
CBU dean of students Emmanuel Chunda was present at ZNBC Kitwe
studios monitoring the situation when the students were blocked from entering
The students then returned to CBU under police
On arrival at CBU through Jambo Drive, the students lit a fire at