AFTER a closure that lasted six months, the University of Zambia has opened but students are wondering why it was closed.
A check at Zambia’s highest learning institution revealed that no tangible renovations and or facelift had been made, leaving students to wonder what the closure was about.
The students have been barred from squatting, sending them into panic as they are looking around for nearby boarding houses.
Students talked to said nothing had been done to justify the prolonged closure of the institution as most, if not all rooms, did not have running water.
A third year student in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences said the closure was a mockery and a waste of time.
He complained that the closure that ate into his academic year was nothing but a drawback and was unnecessary owing to the condition of the hostels.
“Our return here, we were expecting to see at least a change to the environment and hostels but when you check, they are just the same, if not worse. In fact, cleaning has to start now, as you can see a few of the workers are still cleaning, it’s like the work is still on,” complained the student who refused to be named.
“The showers are not fixed, there is no water in the rooms yet, and the lighting systems are not working. We still need switches, bulbs and the like. Nothing was done here. We stayed long.”
The students wondered what would happen when the learning was in full swing.
They said the rationale of banning squatting in rooms where there was nothing being done about student accommodation was mind boggling.
The students said they would now be more prone to disease living in compounds than they would in the institution.
“The instruction on the ground is that there will be no more squatting and that people should be looking for accommodation outside UNZA but when you look at that, it will just risk our lives because where a lot of students are going, in these compounds, that’s were there is the same cholera they are avoiding here. I don’t see any sense in sending students into the compounds where there is a high danger. Compounds like Kalingalinga are not good in sanitation and there is no running water,” the student said.
And some parents found dropping off their children said the wait was a waste of time.
They complained that nothing had been done as rooms had not been renovated.
Roan PF member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili and the UPND had said the closure of the institution was on account of the government’s lack of money to pay students’ meal and other allowances.