NOMINATED member of parliament Raphael Nakacinda has demanded the immediate opening of Copperbelt University.
Nakacinda, who is national secretary of the Felix Mutati MMD faction, said closing of higher learning institutions was a thing of the past.
Nakacinda advised higher education minister Professor Nkandu Luo to find cordial ways of dealing with grievances of the students.
“Though I may not be privy to the full details of what the reasons for the closure of CBU, what I can just state in principle is that for over 55 years now, this business of public universities closing should have been by now a thing of the past,” Nakacinda said.
“Why have we failed in the last 55 years to find a system that works and guarantees that when your child goes to school for a course that takes four years, they don’t end up taking 7 years?
The indictment is on all of us because even us when we were in government, there were moments when UNZA and CBU were closed. As a people, we have been lazy to find solutions, but Professor Nkandu Luo, one of the reasons we believe she was appointed as Minister of Higher Education is because she is a professor and you can only be a professor through going through a higher learning institution and you are supposed to have experience. Why is she finding it difficult in putting her hands in finding a solution?” Nakacinda asked.
“I think we can only place a demand on her, the drama of opening and closure of universities, particularly public universities, should come to an end and stop the finger pointing.”
And Nakacinda announced that a full national executive committee meeting held in Lusaka had resolved that the party begins conducting intra-party elections, continue with card renewals and for the party to fill casual vacancies.
But spokesperson of the Nevers Mumba led MMD Cephas Mukuka said it was very sad that Mutati and his group were in a panic mood following a High Court directive to commence trial of the leadership struggle today and close the case by July 16.
Dr Mukuka said time had but come for Mutati and group to be tried.
“They need to be brave and stand trial without fail. Our friends have tried very hard to resort to barbaric methods of trying to prolong the case. They have in the past made numerous applications, all in the name of trying to prolong the matters before court. Unfortunately, for them, they have lost all the said applications,” he said.
He said time had come for them to tell the court where they got authority to have the “2016 illegal convention”.
“What is crystal clear is the fact that our friends are dead scared to stand trial and they risk being cited for contempt of court should they dare proceed with yet another illegal convention this time around,” said Dr Mukuka.