THE summoning and interrogation of Copperbelt University Academics (CBUAU) leaders by the police on suspicions that they incited students to protest last monday is unacceptable and the labour movement takes strong exception to such kind of action from the police, Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Nkole Chishimba has said.
Mr Chishimba said ZCTU was disappointed that the police had to summon CBUAU leaders for interrogation from 14 hours to 17 hours on suspicion that they had incited the students to protest when they had made it clear that they needed to learn.
On Monday, the Police summoned CBUAU leaders after the students protested over the on-going work stoppage at CBU.
Mr Chishimba , however, refused to comment on the lecturers work stoppage.
“Right now, the only thing I can comment on is the summoning of the CBUAU leaders and what I can say is that we are very disappointed that the police summoned CBUAU leaders on suspicions that they had incited students to protest. I don’t think this is fair to the union leaders.
“This is not fair because there is no way the police can summon and detain our members from 14 hours to 17 hours when the students had made their grievances clear that they needed to learn because that was the reason they were at the campus. Students are intelligent people who cannot be incited,” Mr Chishimba said.
He said while the congress does not support riotous behaviour, it also did not agree that students needed to be incited for them to realize that they were not learning, adding that students had protested in various ways when they were aggrieved.
“The students have in the past protested when they were aggrieved and we believe they are competent enough to understand their problems therefore the question of being incited is out. The police must not intimidate union leaders by summoning them for interrogation when the student demands are clear.
“We call upon the police to desist from targeting third parties when there were conflicts of this nature at the university. As a labour movement, we take strong exception to this kind of action by the police,” Mr Chishimba said.