WE are being led by a fearful leadership whose only worry is to remain in power, UPPZ president Charles Chanda has said. The opposition leader was commenting on government’s decision to close the Copperbelt University. Last Friday, higher education minister Professor Nkandu Luo announced the indefinite closure of the CBU following a riot by students. But Chanda said there was a better way of resolving the problems at the institution than closing it altogether.
He said by closing the university, the government had demonstrated its lack of care for “the aspirations of our young generation”.
Chanda demanded the immediate reopening of CBU and urged the government to be sensitive with the education of young people.
“The crop of leaders that we have now is a danger to society. The closure of the CBU shouldn’t have been. I wonder why the President is even holding on to this Nkandu Luo, nobody knows, we don’t know – maybe it is witchcraft at play,” he said.
Chanda urged President Lungu and the government to temporarily forget about working to stay in power and take the education of the country’s children seriously.
“The challenge that we have as a country is that we are being led by fearful leaders who are only worried about them remaining in power. The only information that they are looking for from anywhere is that which has to do with their stay in positions of power,” he said. “They don’t care about the suffering of citizens. They don’t care about the problems of anybody except that which affects their stay in power.”
Chanda said the government did not even consider the problems of the CBU students or lecturers but just went ahead and closed the institution. On delayed salaries for civil servants, Chanda said the government had money but channeled it to non-priority areas. He observed that while civil servants were complaining about delayed salaries, AVIC was not complaining for non-payment of the projects it was undertaking.
Chanda said the Zambia Revenue Authority had been announcing meeting targets in its revenue collection but wondered where the money was going.
“So if the ZRA are always exceeding the targets, where is the money going to?” he asked.
Chanda urged the government to maintain fiscal discipline and cut unnecessary expenditure.