Opinion: Lungu should fire Nkandu Luo, enough is enough

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As a former student leader who is adequately familiar with the sufferings and problems that many students face both those on government sponsorship and on self sponsorship. I want to say that I am deeply anguished by the death of a female student Vespers Shimuzhila a 4th year in the school of education, at the University of Zambia. Not withstanding how broken the deceased family is, enough is enough.

Firstly, before we have any discussion whatsoever, we need to understand whether she has just DIED or has been KILLED. I say so because her death can only be understood if it was natural or has been induced by another arising from gross negligence and recklessness on the part of those charged with the responsibility thereof. A girl child has died.

Bursaries alone cannot be the reason for her death, because we have as a nation been debating this bursary issue for years and governments have ferociously failed to manage this facility to acceptable standards.

Two things are pertinent in problem identification that has caused all these events leading up to the death of a daughter of our soil. The two are DELAYED BURSARY and the POLICE. Delayed bursary is not a problem of the student but that of government and Ministry of Higher Education in particular. Nkandu Luo is the principal government official responsible for all matters of higher learning.

Today, madam Luo has banned all union activities at all the three main public universities a move she claimed will stop riots. She has yet been proven wrong by this decision. We condemned her and advised her that unions are channels of communication and management thereof of students grievances. How then does govt engage students, it is no wonder the govt continues to deny itself the privilege to know of the many boiling issues at all high learning institutions due to its undemocratic banning of students unions. We warned of such times, now unfortunately a student’s life has been lost. How many more should die before government substantively and amicably acts on all these issues that surround our high learning institutions.

When leaders don’t address a problem, the problem becomes the leader and the leaders become the problem.

Madam Nkandu Luo herself is a mother and a grandmother what would have she expected be done if her daughter died in such irresponsible and unclear circumstances while in the confines of her room. Sometimes these are the questions government officials must answer without arrogance.

In order for us to safeguard the lives of the future of this country, it is only but in order for President Lungu to permanently fire Nkandu Luo with immediate effect. Anything less will be an insult not only to the family, but to the entire body of knowledge. Government must take responsibility and unconditionally compensate the family of the deceased adequately.

The issue of police brutality and unprofessional conduct cannot be over emphasised. Just when we were celebrating the appointment of a hardworking and steadfast Bonny Kapeso as Deputy Inspector General, we have been greeted by this ugly incidence. I want to believe that the men and women in uniforms have on numerous occasions been victims on the battle front of much more complex issues they don’t understand.

It is also true that the police don’t move on their own, they are just like soldiers because they move on command. Their actions before, during and after thier duties are an erasable reflection of where and from whom they get their commands. Therefore we cannot divorce their seniors from the blame of this untimely death.

Police brutality is one of several forms of police misconduct which involves undue violence by police members. Widespread police brutality exists even among those that prosecute it. Although illegal, it can be performed under the color of the law.

I am of the considered view, that a professional police service can only be developed owing in large part to the need for agencies to be capable of handling violent crowds and riots, the ability of police agencies to control riots remains questionable. The role of law enforcement agencies played in incidents of crowd violence and handling of crowds should be rethought if we are to prevent the loss of lives. Building upon crowds, group dynamics, and rioting, it is suggested that constant police professionalism trainings and just treatment of the citizenry by police officers, thorough planning and preparation for crowd events, engagement of crowds, and rapid identification and removal of individual troublemakers may help reduce the potential for crowd violence.

Inspector General Kanganja must tell the nation what determines the use of force in public oder policing, because this amount of overzealousness will cost our country much more in the near future.

In closing, I want to appeal to the conscious of all of us and the nation at large, if it were your daughter, let us all put ourselves in the deceased family’s shoes, what amount of action would we want to see for justice to prevail. Where should we go from here, should it be business as usual like nothing happened without an ounce of regret? Should we allow those responsible to publicly shed tears of a crocodile with empty speeches and rhetorics to bury her? President Lungu only you can put a stop to this, otherwise the nation wont move on.

PRINCE NDOYI
MMD Youth

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