Resignations won’t solve UNZA problems-FDD

THE resignation of University of Zambia (UNZA) vice chancellor Stephen Simukanga and three other principal officers will not resolve the financial problems at the higher learning institution, opposition Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) has said.

FDD Spokesperson Antonio Mwanza said Government should liquidate the UNZA debt and improve funding to the institution to resolve the impasse and reposition UNZA as a centre of excellence and an oasis of intelligentsia,

He said Government needed to holistically address the root causes of the impasse at UNZA in order to find a lasting solution.

Mr Mwanza said the root cause of UNZA woes was chronic underfunding.

He said unless and until funding to UNZA was improved, industrial unrests, demonstrations and riots would continue to be a part of UNZA.

“…While we welcome the resignations of UNZA Vice Chancellor, Professor Steven Simukanga and some members of his top management team, we wish to categorically state that the resignation of a few individuals cannot solve the perennial problems UNZA is facing,” he said.

Mr Mwanza said the management and administration of the university have to be overhauled and restructured, adding that education was a business and UNZA had to find alternative ways of generating its own funds without necessarily raising tuition fees.

He said there was need to review the UNZA Act to make it relevant to the founding vision and responsive to the prevailing circumstances.

“The University Council needs to be dissolved and reconstituted with individuals who possess the necessary leadership and management skills to reshape the direction of the institution,” Mr Mwanza said.

He suggested that students’ representation in the Council had to be increased to ensure adequate representation of the student body, which was in fact the largest stakeholder.

Mr Mwanza urged Government to be carrying out periodic Forensic Audits to ascertain the use of funds at the institution and ensure that UNZA management conformed to the tenets of good corporate governance in its dealings.