University of Zambia Students’ Union (UNZASU) vice president Martin Nundwe says the ‘boarding house harmonisation project’ is aimed at protecting students living off campus from exploitation as most students are subjected to exorbitant boarding house rentals. The University of Zambia Students’ Union (UNZASU) is to sign a memorandum of understanding with boarding house owners through the ‘boarding house harmonisation project’ to reduce exploitation of students living there.
In an interview with the Lusaka Star, UNZASU Vice President Martin Nundwe said the initiative was aimed at protecting students living off campus from exploitation as most students were subjected to exorbitant boarding house rentals.
Mr. Nundwe explained that the boarding house harmonisation project would involve the registration of all boarding houses accommodating UNZA students with the Lusaka City Council (LCC) and the University of Zambia Dean of Students.
“The project is aimed at combating the exploitation of students by boarding house owners and ensuring that all boarding houses meet the required conditions put up by the local authority,” he said.
The UNZASU Vice President however noted that it would be a challenging task to register certain boarding houses especially those in Kalingalinga area as they were not boarding houses but ordinary houses that students were renting.
Mr. Nundwe added that the union was yet to have a meeting with boarding house owners concerning the project in order to reach a memorandum of understanding.
Meanwhile, a fourth year UNZA development studies student, Niza Mutambo said UNZASU had taken a step in the right direction as most landlords were taking advantage of the accommodation crisis on campus hence exploiting students.
Ms. Mutambo, who stays off campus at a boarding house in Hands worth Park added that the project would facilitate improved conditions of services since the LCC would be inspecting boarding houses.
Another second year mass communications student in the school of humanities and social sciences, Vanessa Malindi urged UNZASU to quickly initiate the project.
“There is a lot of negligence coming from some boarding house owners, and so it would really help matters if they were being monitored by the council sanitation wise,” She said.
And a fourth year Library and Information Studies student, Mulenga Chileshe said the project was long overdue.
She added that it was time the students union helped and protected students staying off campus adding that they were also students and deserved to be helped like those staying on campus.