UNZA don seeks Syakalima’s help over ‘mistreatment’

UNIVERSITY of Zambia lecturer Austin Mbozi has written to education minister Douglas Syakalima asking for his intervention in obtaining a letter from management authored by the institution’s security chief Bwalya Kalebaila.

Mbozi contends that it is the same letter his supervisor John Mweshi used to threaten him with dismissal, yet it has never been availed to him.

He adds that the letter formed part of the evidence referred to when a disciplinary committee sat after he was accused of sexually assaulting a female student.

“I ask your office to order the UNZA Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor Luka Mumba to give me the letter written to his Management by the UNZA Chief Security Officer Bwalya Kalebaila,” Mbozi said in a letter dated September 17, 2021. “As you can see from the citation in Attachment 1, this is the letter which my supervisor John Mweshi used to threaten me with dismissal on allegations that I sexually assaulted Natasha Ngoma who came to my office by lying that she was not a student and wanted a job at my two private sports and farming companies and my book selling project. It has now turned out that she connived with UNZA management to get me fired because Management believed that I was a danger to the former PF government and a UPND supporter.”

He said according to the university’s disciplinary code, he was entitled to such a document as the accused.

Mbozi added that the UNZA disciplinary committee conducted an internal inquiry and later ruled that he did not commit any such offence.

“The UNZA Disciplinary Committee (led by Dr Friday Mulenga of history department, (see attachment 2) conducted an internal hearing on the matter and ruled that I did not sexually assault the lady,” Mbozi narrated. “But John Mweshi, my accuser did not attend this hearing as required of him under 9.3.a (ii) of the Code, overruled this Committee’s ruling in violation of 9.3.a (x) of the Code (see attachment 3) and refused to show me the letter from UNZA security Chief Bwalya Kalebaila which based his charges on me… I have asked for this document from the VC (see attachment 4) but he does not reply. In such a scenario, Grievance Procedure under 12.2 Stage 3 of the Code allows me to appeal to your office.”

Mbozi felt that the matter was politically motivated, adding that he had been treated unfairly from the beginning.

He said despite intervention from the lecturers’ union, management still could not treat him fairly.

“UNZA’s agenda against me cannot be surprising. Recall that the same Bwalya Kalebaila who wrote to Management over this sexual assault case is the same Bwalya Kalebaila who admitted in February 2019 at the court inquest investigating Vespers’ death that he is the one who invited into UNZA the police (who killed Vespers) even before he informed Management about the student protests,” wrote Mbozi. “The same John Mweshi who warned me over Vespers is the same one who warned me over this case and the rest of the top officials within Management issuing these harassment instructions behind the scenes remained intact when this new case began. Given the high politicisation and media publicity over my cases in UNZA, only your office can handle this matter…”

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