It’s convenient to keep universities closed
Is government going to keep Zambia’s two largest universities closed until the general election on 11 August 2016? Both the University of Zambia and the Copperbelt University have been closed for over a month since students rioted over meal allowances not being paid in full amidst the usual commotion of innocent motorists being stoned in Lusaka. Government made it very clear that it closed the universities to teach the students a lesson, but since then, everything has gone suspiciously quiet. Does government see the closure as an excellent opportunity to prevent troublesome youths from causing problems ahead of the election? The ruling PF party will need all the support it can muster to win this year’s election, as the main opposition UPND party is snapping at its heels, if not its toes, and students are always a thorn in the side on incumbent governments. About 1.5 million new voters will vote in this year’s election in Zambia. They are mostly young people, who happen to be the hardest hit by unemployment and the ailing economy. Government is worried that economic concerns will matter more to them than ethnicity.
Camilla Hebo Buus, Editor Zambia Weekly