Zambia: Police Quell CBU Students Unrest

POLICE yesterday fired teargas canisters to disperse protesting Copperbelt University (CBU) students who boycotted classes to press management to improve water supply and sanitation.

The students, who attempted to troop into Jambo Drive, complained that the institution has had erratic water supply and poor sanitation for the past three months.

The students initially wanted to march from campus in Riverside into town centre but were intercepted by alert police officers, who fired teargas canisters sending them scampering in all directions.

The students demanded an explanation from the university management over the poor sanitation and lack of water at the learning institution with a huge population.

“Our toilets are damaged and the showers are in a bad condition, the kitchen taps are not working,” shouted one of the students.

The students armed with stones and sticks chanted anti management slogans and vowed not resume classes until the problem was addressed.

They said Copperbelt University Student Union (COBUSU) had raised the issue of lack of water and poor sanitation with management but to no avail.

“Today we have decided to hold this demonstration so that the school administration can realise that we are not happy with the conditions at this school,” complained another student. There was heavy presence of police in riot gear patrolling Jambo Drive.

When contacted on her mobile phone, CBU public relations officer Grace Mikungu declined to comment before she hung up.

COBUSU president Thompson Luzendi said the protest was meant to be “internal” to push management to address the concerns. Mr Luzendi said the students did not intend to take to the streets but they were surprised to see police started firing tear gas canisters.

“It was an inside protest but we were surprised that police fired tear gas canisters,” Mr Luzendi said.
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