Copperbelt University

We applaud the decision by Copperbelt University lecturers to resume work after going on an illegal strike, even if  the resolution is belated.

This is because their decision to demand the dismissal of their Vice Chancellor Nason Ngoma and their subsequate to go on strike, made the students the ultimate losers and the institution.

While the tag of war was on, students and the Copperbelt University were losing something which is so precious in academic circles.

For the students, it was class time while for the institution, it was losing prospective students who started down grading the university and would never want to go to an university whose calendar is unpredictable.

Now that the lecturers have decided to resume, it is time for reconciliation so that the institution can heal from bitterness.

We know human behaviour and its appetite for revenge but we advise that   this should not be the time at the CBU.

Both the lecturers and the university management should brainstorm on what went wrong and come up with possible solutuions to their differences.

It was would be unwise for management and the lecturers to think that challenges the CBU experienced would go away on their own without engaging each other in deep reflection.

We believe nothing is insurmountable when foes apply themselves to dialogue and this is what we are precisely advising the two groups at the university.

Both parties should honestly apply themselves to dialogue so that they could know where they went wrong.

But the lecturers should have known that Government all over the world do not operate in the manner the lecturers wanted it to operate.

Professor Ngoma signed conditions of service and it was only fair that his alleged transgressions were investigated and a decision made.

This is because in Zambia, there is the right to be heard otherwise an institution would lose a lot of money when a dismissal is unfair and unjust.

And when the private committee investigated Prof Ngoma, the decision was although the vice chancellor had some short-comings, they did not warrant a dismissal.

For Government, the right thing to do was to reinstate the man in his position and the way forward is for Prof Ngoma to decide whether the campus was conducive for his stay.

Therefore, it was unnecesarry for the lecturers to continue subjecting the students to lack of class time when an investigative process is launched and the outcome clearly spelt.

But as we have said, Prof Ngoma should also not go back to the university with an axe to silence whoever was in the forefront calling for his dismissal.

There should be a new beginning at CBU and the starting point is reconciliation for the sake of the students and the creditability of the institution.