By CHUSA SICHONE and REBECCA MUSHOTA
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has said the onus is on the police to tell the nation what really transpired at the University of Zambia (UNZA) in Lusaka on Thursday, where a fourth-year student died while another was
severely injured after a riot.
President Lungu said his position on the matter was similar to Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya made on behalf of the State that the police should investigate and tell the nation circumstances
leading to the death of Vespers Shimuzhila.
“Let the police do their job. I think, madam Siliya made a statement, that’s the Government position. We want to know what happened,” he said.
President Lungu said he did not want to speculate over what happened at UNZA, hence he was waiting on the police to investigate the matter and avail the nation with their findings.
President Lungu said this in an interview with journalists at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka yesterday afternoon shortly before departure for Kampala, Uganda.
The Head of State left for Uganda to attend the ninth high-level meeting of the regional oversight mechanism of the Peace, Security and Cooperation framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes region.
And Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya said that the Government would immediately evacuate the second year student who was injured, to South Africa for specialised spinal treatment.
Everntyn Choongo sustained a spine injury after jumping from a second floor of her hostel after a fire broke out on her hostel during the riots.
Dr Chilufya said President Lungu was concerned with the student’s welfare, hence the decision to evacuate her urgently.
He said the Government had engaged the Choongo family over the matter and collectively agreed that she goes for specialised treatment.
Dr Chilufya said this shortly after visiting Ms Choongo at the at the University Teaching Hospitals.
Ms Chongo’s father Geoffrey said he was grateful to the Government and the medical staff at UTH.
Meanwhile, UNZA students on Saturday evening held a memorial event for Ms Shimuzhila.
The event started at 17:30 when students signed in the book of condolences and around 21:00 hours proceeded with songs, poems and speeches.
The solemn event was held at the October Hostel car park and all students dressed in black.
And the University of Zambia Lecturers and Researchers Union (UNZALARU) has said the reaction by police to enter the university premises and fire teargas canisters was unfortunate and brutal.
The union said that it was disappointed that the UNZA management and the Government’s failure to outrightly condemn police, ligitimised police brutality.
It said that police should find better strategies of mob control.