By JANE MWANSA –
KITWE District Commissioner Binwell Mpundu has condemned lecturers at the Copperbelt University (CBU) for locking up Vice-Chancellor Naison Ngoma in his office, claiming that management is mismanaging the learning institution.
Mr Mpundu said it was disappointing that the lecturers did not follow the right channels of airing their grievances and shunned the meeting which was called in order to have their concerns heard.
Speaking during a Press briefing, Mr Mpundu said that CBU lecturers had lost out on an opportunity to have their problems resolved.
He said the Government was not siding with management and that the behaviour by the lecturers, who also walked away from a recent meeting which was being addressed by Minister of Higher Education Nkandu Luo, would not be tolerated.
“Our concern as Government was to listen to both sides and we called for two separate meetings, one with management and another with the grieving party, and the worst had happened because they decided to shun the meeting which had a representative from State House,” Mr Mpundu said.
Lecturers staged a protest and locked Professor Ngoma in his office on Wednesday this week demanding for his resignation.
The lecturers, who were represented by the Copperbelt University Academics Union (CBUAU) president Derrick Ntalasha, said the union had resolved to continue protesting until Prof Ngoma resigned, charging that he had failed to run the university.
Dr Ntalasha said the lecturers had not received their salaries on time for the past six years since Prof Ngoma became vice-chancellor.
“As lecturers we have resolved to lock up his office until he leaves.
Before he came we used to get our pay on time but today is January 10, 2018 and this is when we are getting our December salaries. This has made lecturers to become destitute, and we do not want this poor management to continue,” Dr Ntalasha said.
He added that the infrastructure at the university was in a deplorable state because Prof Ngoma was spending the university funds on other projects that did not benefit the university.
Dr Ntalasha said the lecturers were in the process of writing letters to all the relevant Government ministries in order to make their concerns known.