SOUTHERN Province Freedom and Democracy Fighters Association coordinator Bernard Namula says “our leadership” killed UNZA students Vespers Shimunzhila.
In an interview, Namula said everyone in leadership position in the Ministry of Higher Education, police and those in charge of the country were to blame for Vespers’ death.
Namula said the killing of Vespers Shimunzhila was very said.
He said his organisation demands justice to prevail in the UNZA saga that led to the death of Vespers and another seriously injured.
“There is no need to beat about the bush that it was the teargas that led to the death of that student. The truth is that our leadership has killed that student. Everyone in leadership position in the Ministry of Higher Education, UNZA management, police and those in charge of the country are to blame for this death and one day they will be made accountable,” Namula said.
He demanded quick investigations into the matter so that perpetrators are visited by the law.
Recently, the Shimunzhila family said the case of Vespers was peculiar where the complainant was the State, the investigator was the State police and the prime suspect was the police.
The family asked police to urgently avail it a copy of the post-mortem report failure to which it would reveal the findings of the autopsy as witnessed.
The family said the police had not been forthcoming to the family with the status of the investigations and that there was no organised liaison between the investigating team and the family.
The family said since there was a lot of public interest in the case, the government must urgently institute an inquest. The family said that members of the public who were not within the police investigation target might be availed chance to give evidence.
The family also said a formal organised structure might be formed to steer a holistic approach to ensure justice over Vespers’ death.
Vespers, a fourth year University of Zambia (UNZA) student, died from teargas suffocation following a police operation to quell protests at the Great East Road campus on the night on October 4.
Meanwhile, Namula said Zambia could not develop with the current crop of leaders who want to remain in power in perpetuity.
He said African leaders must wake up because it was not fair for people to call themselves independent when year in, year out accessing agriculture inputs was still difficult. Namula, who gave a vote of thanks at the independence commemorations held at BOMA grounds in Choma on Wednesday, said it was unfortunate there was no straight forwardness in African leaders.
“They are all concerned about how to protect their interests and not to serve,” Namula said.
“African leaders want to be perpetual presidents and that’s where we have gone wrong and we can’t develop especially under this current crop of leadership.”
He said lack of sincerity among leaders was the major reason why real independence was not achievable. Namula expressed disappointment that none of the successive governments in Zambia had met the freedom fighters’ expectations of realising true independence characterised by prosperity. He said despite being independent, the country was characterised with poverty.
“We fought colonialism to achieve prosperity,” Namula said.
He accused the PF government of letting down Zambians that sacrificed their lives to obtain independence. He said despite the country having an educated leadership that comprised doctors and professors, leadership had failed to run the country properly.
He said it was shameful that 54 years down the line, the University of Zambia was not able to produce students that could make motor vehicles. Namula said those who fought for independence never expected the country to be poor as was the situation today despite being rich in natural resources. He said it was painful that Zambia’s resources were being looted and the President was not doing anything apart from protecting thieves.
“We are not against PF but the problem we have with them is that they are seeing mistakes but they are not correcting them. Nearly in all sectors there is an issue. Look at agriculture and the late delivery of inputs, education has been engulfed with corruption and simply everything has gone wrong,” Namula said.
He said those in government were not there for the people but for themselves and their families.
Namula said those in government were just gambling with people’s lives because their main preoccupation was to serve their interests.
He further said it was sad the government had made UNZA become famous for riots.