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 2009-08-15 01:55 pm Back to NEWS
CBU Closed

THE Copperbelt University (CBU) senate has prematurely closed the institution for two weeks.

The decision was made after a special senate meeting yesterday morning as a measure to restore a conducive learning environment.

Students rioted on Wednesday night, beating up a Kitwe businessman Mamadi Conde, set his vehicle on fire and allegedly stole cell phones and K200 million cash.

According to a statement released by acting registrar Mwala Sheba, the senate resolved to bring forward the end of term two with immediate effect.

A check at the campus found students leaving the campus while others were still packing their belongings.

CBU was scheduled for closure on September 4 but the early closure entails that term three has consequently been brought forward as well.

Mr Sheba said full-time students would be expected back to campus on August 30 for the start of the third term.

"This action is aimed at allowing the university management enough time to restore calm and ensure public safety," he said.

Mr Sheba said the action did not affect graduate, distance and all evening and part time students.

Students' union president Kasonde Mwenda and members of his executive could not be reached as they had their phones switched off.

The family of Mr Conde who was beaten by CBU students and burnt his vehicle said they may consider evacuating him to South Africa if his condition does not improve.

Mr Conde's son Issa said his father was admitted to Hillview Medical Centre and had shown little signs of improvement because of the severe beatings.

He said the family would soon make a decision on whether to evacuate him after considering how he responds to treatment.

"We may move him to another hospital depending on how he will respond to treatment and we will also consider evacuating him to South Africa if need be," he said.

Issa said the family was concerned with the injuries that he sustained which include a fractured skull and other internal injuries.

And Copperbelt police chief Antoneil Mutentwa said police were still investigating the incident that led to the attack on Mr Conde and subsequent burning of his vehicle.

Mr Mutentwa said police had not made any arrests yet but were taking the matter seriously.

He said officers had been deployed at the campus on Thursday night after reports of a possible disturbance at the institution and that the situation remained calm.

"No arrests have been made in the beating up of a motorist and burning his vehicle but investigations are on-going," he said.

Mr Mutentwa appealed to the public and the CBU students to come forward with any information that would bring the perpetrators to book.

Meanwhile, The Forum for Leadership Search (FLS) has condemned the demonstration by students at the CBU and University of Zambia because the reasons for their action could not add value to their welfare.

FLS executive director, Edwin Lifwekelo said in a statement in Lusaka yesterday that reasons given for demonstrations by the students were misplaced and highly politicised.

He said the Government should compel the students to pay for the vehicle, which was burnt because students had failed to justify their demonstrations.

And Operation Young Vote president Guess Nyirenda said students had no right to burn a vehicle and beat up innocent members of the public even if they had the right to demonstrate.

"The beating of an innocent citizen and burning of their vehicle by some disgruntled students at CBU is barbaric and a criminal act that should be condemned by all progressive Zambians," he said.

 
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