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 2009-08-14 03:41 pm Back to NEWS
Riotous CBU students snatch K200 million

SOME Copperbelt University students on Wednesday evening attacked a businessman and stole K200 million from him, sparking widespread condemnation by the public.

The students pounced on the businessman after he lost control of his vehicle and plunged into a ditch when he attempted to evade the rampaging mob, which was stoning motorists on Jambo Drive near the campus.

The mob clobbered him, set his Toyota Hilux Surf ablaze and made off with the money, cell phones and business documents.
The businessman, Mamadi Conde, 76, of Guinean descent, is currently admitted to Hillview Medical Centre with a fractured skull and a lacerated tongue.

Copperbelt Police Chief Antoneil Mutentwa confirmed the incident and condemned the riotous acts by the students.

Mr Mutentwa said police would not allow such lawlessness and that there were concerted efforts with the public to deal with such matters.

Trouble started just after the 19:00 hours ZNBC main news, when students complained of unfair coverage of the day's demonstration over the police shooting of a student and their demand for the removal of Education Minister, Dora Siliya.

Some students took to the entrance of the campus and hurled missiles at motorists and one of them hit Mr Conde's vehicle, causing him to lose control before plunging into a ditch.

Students continued to beat him even after emerging from the vehicle until some good Samaritans rescued him and rushed him to the hospital.

A check at the hospital by the Times team found Mr Conde in apparent pain and with
stitches on the head while his severed tongue had been stitched back.

Mr Conde said he found rocks blocking Jambo Drive near the campus entrance in the evening as he returned from a business engagement in Lusaka and that students emerged when he stopped but that they stoned him as he attempted to drive off.

His son, Issa said his father had lost K200 million, phones and many of his business documents after the students searched him and set the vehicle on fire.

"It is unacceptable that students could do such a thing and relevant authorities should bring the perpetrators to book," he said.

He said doctors had confirmed that his father had sustained a fractured skull while his tongue had been stitched back into position.

Police arrived on the scene shortly after but by then, the students had run away and no one was arrested.

CBU students union president, Kasonde Mwenda said it was unfortunate that a motorist had been beaten up on the same day that students had protested.

"I have no confirmation that students were involved in burning the motor vehicle and we cannot support such an incident as a leadership," he said.

CBU public relations officer, Grace Mikunga said management would issue a comprehensive statement at an appropriate time.

Copperbelt Minister, Mwansa Mbulakulima condemned the students for resorting to violence as a way of resolving various problems being experienced by their institution.

Mr Mbulakulima said in a statement released in Ndola yesterday that it was unacceptable for the students to resort to attacking innocent citizens and destroying private property.

"The peaceful demonstration by the students which earned them respect was over-shadowed by these violent actions which were unnecessary," he said.

And various stakeholders condemned the violence and demonstration by students at CBU and University of Zambia (Unza)

The Citizens' Committee (CC), the Zambia United Christian Action (Zuca) and Zambia for Empowerment and Development (ZED), a newly formed party, said in separate interviews in Lusaka yesterday that students should promote dialogue in the country.

CC executive director, Gregory Chifire said the students should concentrate on their studies emphasising that anytime lost would not be recovered.

"It is unnecessary for students to waste time with the demonstration at the time they were supposed to be engaged in their academic studies. They should concentrate on their studies because there is no logic in their demonstration," Mr Chifire said.

ZED president, Fred Mutesa said the students populace should give Unza Students Union a chance to provide a leadership on various issues including the current grievances.

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