Two Copperbelt University (CBU) students are admitted to Kitwe Central Hospital (KCH) with multiple injuries and respiratory problems after being heavily teargased by police following a riot at the campus on Tuesday evening when word went round that the entire students union had been expelled.
The two students are George Nyambe, a third year School of Environmental Engineering student and Tinene Simbao, a third year student in the School of Business.
CBU Deputy Vice Chancellor Shadreck Chama said during the Press briefing yesterday that Nyambe suffered injuries after falling from the third floor of one of the buildings at the campus during the riot, while Simbao was asthmatic and the tear gas created respiratory problems for him.
“During the riot that erupted, last evening, two of our students were admitted to KCH with injuries. George Nyambe, who is a third floor in the school of environmental engineering, was admitted to KCH after he fell from third floor.
“While Tinene Simbao, a third year student in the School of Business was admitted to KCH because she is asthmatic and so the teargas might have caused respiratory problems to her,” Dr Chama said.
Dr Chama said, apart from the two students five others were arrested after they caused extensive damage to the administration block.
He also said COBUSU president Oscar Mbewe, COBUSU council chairperson Kondwani Mumba, COBUSU Secretary General Kingsley Chinyama, Social and Cultural Secretary Niza Phiri and Committee member Harrison Hampongo had been suspended.
And a concerned parent Joseph Mulemba of Kitwe has revealed that over 400 police officers from Kamfinsa Mobile Unit were deployed at the university on Tuesday evening and beat students that were found squatting in hostels.
Mr Mulemba said that another 200 officers were deployed in the campus today morning in an effort to get rid of the squatters by inspecting the hostels.
He told the Daily Nation that some students were badly beaten by the police officers on Tuesday night and two were left unconscious and had to be rushed to the hospital.
Mr Mulemba was disappointed that management at the university had resorted to using force on the students instead of finding an amicable solution to the problem.
He said the decision to force students to rent houses outside the campus had angered many parents because they could not afford the high rentals
“Even this morning, there were about 200 officers at campus that were deployed to inspect the rooms. This is sad because some students that squat with their friends can not afford to pay the rentals in these residential areas.
“Why should university management use force on students? This is very unfair to students and we appeal to the university chancellor to think about the trauma he has caused to some students. As parents we expect our children to come home with degrees and not with deformed bodies,” he said.
Mr Mulemba said management at the university should be held accountable for any losses and damage that the students may have suffered.