Minister of Education Michael Kaingu says the University of Zambia should transform its internal processes to create savings on staff costs and on an array of operating costs which should contribute to the transformation required of the financial position of the University. The University of Zambia (UNZA) monthly payroll cost is in excess of K30 Million, Minister of Education, Science Vocational Training and Early Education has revealed.
Speaking during the inauguration of the caretaker committee of the University yesterday, Dr. Michael Kaingu challenged the caretaker committee to critically interrogate the institution’s internal process.
“I am aware that as of 31st March 2015, the combined University of Zambia debt was standing at K2, 000,365,000. I am aware that this debt is growing every month.
“It is clear that the business approach to governance of the university will not achieve the organisational restructuring we as government would like to see … I want to know as your minister how the University will transform its internal processes to create savings on staff costs and on an array of operating costs which should contribute to the transformation we require of the financial position of the University,” he explained.
Dr. Kaingu further directed the committee to find ways of creating a new image of the Institution as well as find ways of transforming its financial position.
The Education Minister encouraged the University to be highly enterprising, adding that “UNZA has a strong brand and must leverage on its assets to build an entrepreneurial character in all its operations.”
Dr. Kaingu reminded the interim committee that it had the responsibility to provide oversight on the operations of UNZA.
“Therefore, you must do that which is in public interest while serving on the caretaker committee on behalf of the Zambian people,” he said.
And University of Zambia chancellor, Jacob Mwanza expressed his confidence that the new caretaker committee to be led by Namucana Musiwa would improve on the gains of the previous council.
Dr. Mwanza further noted that the caretaker committee had a responsibility to oversee productivity in dealing with matters affecting the institution and encouraged diplomatic approaches to conflict resolution.
“You will face the challenge of creating an environment where harmony, trust and dialogue will prevail,” he said. “Although our relationship with both staff and unions has been cordial, we will do well to galvanise efforts and any challenges the university faces through dialogue and consultations.”
Meanwhile, incoming chairperson for the caretaker’s committee Namucana Musiwa expressed her gratitude for the confidence bestowed on the committee to play a part in the governance of the institution.
Ms. Musiwa reiterated the critical role that Universities world over contribute to national development.
“Honourable Minister, allow me to state that we shall take time to understand the genesis of the situation that the University of Zambia finds itself in and work with the entire University community and other stakeholders to arrive at practical solutions,” she stated.