University of Zambia Students Union (UNZASU) has refuted the scrapping of meal allowances.
In a statement released through it’s President Warran Hamusunga, the union said the news is false.
“We managed to have a successful dialogue with the Minister and we can confirm that student concerns have been heard for both UNZA and CBU, Moving forward we can also confirm that the allocation of meal allowances will continue as it has been in the past,” he said.
This came after minister of Higher Education Prof Nkandu Luo allegedly said her ministry will cut off meal allowances for students at CBU and UNZA starting January 2019 stating that parents should take up the responsibility.
And National Students Union (ZANASU) President Misheck Kakonde has called for calmness among students at the two public universities as it has not confirmed the authenticity of the news.
‘’We are not aware of any regulations or statutory instrument that could have been issued to abolish the provision of meal allowances, the information should therefore not raise any unnecessary anxiety among students,’’ he said.
Kakonde has further said they have opened a fruitful dialogue with the Higher Education Loans and Scholarship Board (HELSB) over student loans.
He has further discouraged students from causing unrest or damage to public in and outside institutions of higher learning institutions and that they must prioritize the pursuit of dialogue with authorities with anything else.
‘’ZANASU remains committed to engaging with the government, the Head of State, Ministry of Higher Education and other relevant authorities to resolve matters affecting students and we encourage students to get updates from their union representatives.
Meanwhile, UNZASU has told media houses to factual and dig deeper to avoid misleading the public.
“We also urge the media houses to report credible information after comprehensive research,”UNZASU.
Meanwhile Patricia Mwansa an UNZA student whose parents are both late is relived with the news as the meal allowance is the only hope for him.
‘’I pay my fees using the same meal allowance and without them am as good as dropping out of school because I don’t have anyone to support me financially,’’ she said.
The cutting which would have affected over 20,000 students has been of help to students since the university’s establishment in 1966 with the likes of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, United Party for National Development Hakainde (UPND) and many others being beneficiaries.