We have noted with great sadness and disappointment the manner in which both the Government and the Management of Copperbelt University (CBU) have handled the “go slow” by lecturers due to delayed and unpaid salaries which have lasted for over five days now, Green Party of Zambia (GPZ) secretary general Thompson Luzendi has said.
Mr Luzendi said like any other public institution the CBU was a grant aided institution and it was therefore the responsibility of the government of the day to ensure that such an important institution was properly financed and managed.
“The recent developments at this high learning institution leaves much to be desired as this is the second time lecturer’s salaries have either been delayed or unpaid.
“One would have thought that when an instance first occurred relevant stakeholders would have taken note and ensured that it doesn’t happen again in the near future but yet no one did that”he said.
Mr Luzendi said it was painful to see hardworking lecturers go for days even weeks without their pay knowing fully the effects which such might have on the wefare of their families and their businesses, most of these hardworking men and women have payments on loans, insurance, and rentals.
“It is therefore imperative for both the government and management of CBU to ensure that these hardworking men and women get what is duly theirs on time,” he said.
Mr Luzendi said the notion that government did have enough funds to allocate or release as and when required by institutions such as CBU was mere rhetoric when the government always affords to allocate funds to the Vice President and ministers to move about campaigning when there are by-elections around the country.
“We are of the view that the current government ought to prioritize the education sector especially higher education as it is their responsibility to ensure that its citizens get an education,” he said.
Mr Luzendi reminded the Patriotic Front (PF) government to ensure that they consulted widely when implementing certain policies, like the one they made early this year where they want to be getting a certain percentage from the monies which public institutions make from offering distance education and evening classes.
“It is therefore important for the government to ensure that they revisit some of these policies which are detrimental to the progression of our institutions of higher learning,” he said.
Mr Luzendi said the only way government would be able to sort out problems of financing to institutions of higher learning was by implementing the students’ loan authority which was drafted together with all relevant stakeholders at a meeting at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in 2012.