By PERPETUAL SICHIKWENKWE-
THE family of injured University of Zambia student Lizwe Ndhlovu, has insisted that the 19-year-old Development Studies and Economics student did not jump out of a moving vehicle as claimed by the Zambia Police.
According to the Zambia Police account of events of Last Friday, when police ran battles with students who were protesting against delayed payment of meal allowances, Lizwe jumped out of the police vehicle as they were being driven to the police station.
But Lizwe’s mother disagreed with the police account arguing that the injuries on her son’s body did not correspond with the story that he could have jumped out of a car.
Lizwe is currently lying unconscious in the University Teaching Hospital.
“What is really surprising is that my son who in the first place cannot participate in the protest for allowances since he is a self-sponsored student, was picked up by the police when he was trying to help another student who had fainted from the teargas,” she said.
Ms Ndhlovu wondered what the police officers were doing at the students’ hostels and at the clinic when they should have been arresting the students who were causing trouble for motorists along Great East Road.
She added that the family had difficulties locating Lizwe following the riots on Friday and that it took a search at all police stations and hospitals before they finally found him at the casualty ward at the University Teaching Hospital.
“The most shocking part is the interest that the case of our son has attracted. On Saturday at midnight, some mystery man who called himself a student from UNZA came to visit Lizwe then when we asked him further questions, he changed that he was a police officer,” she said.
According to the results of the scan undertaken at Fairview Hospital, Lizwe has some blood clots in the head but the spine is ok.
UNZA Students’ Union vice-president Martin Nundwe said the students’ body would not side with the police or Lizwe’s family on what transpired last Friday.
Meanwhile, eight UNZA students and a hair dresser who were arrested following a protest over delayed meal allowances yesterday appeared in the Lusaka magistrate’s court and pleaded not guilty to idle and disorderly persons.
The students on Friday ran battles with the police which resulted in one of the hostels being burnt.
Two rooms in the Soweto Hostel were completely burnt in the inferno, which started when officers fired a flare missile that landed on one of the beds in the rooms on the third floor of the building through the widow.
Police arrested nine people, among them UNZASU publicity secretary and hair dresser Collina Mususa, Kalota Musanta, Maggie Mulenga, Kabwe Mwamba, Vernon Kayungu, James Hachitwe, Harrison Miti, Kamona Linunda and Festus Banda. They are aged between 19 and 24 out of which four are female.
Chief Resident magistrate Joshua Banda allocated the case to himself and proceeded to read out the charge to the students.
They all denied committing the offence resulting in Mr Banda entering pleas of not guilty for them. The nine who are represented by Lusaka lawyer Laston Mwanabo later applied to be released on bail, saying the offences they committed were bailable and they were not flight risks. Mr Banda in his ruling granted them K5,000 bail each in their own recognisance with each providing a surety in the like sum. Trial commences on Friday.