THE Government has dissolved the Copperbelt University (CBU) Council and has appointed a caretaker committee to investigate the impasse that rocked the institution leading to its closure in June.
Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education Minister Michael Kaingu announced the dissolution of the CBU council yesterday during a Press briefing held at his office.
“The immediate task of the caretaker committee is to investigate the circumstances and concerns which culminated in the disruption of the academic life of the university and to recommend the necessary actions to avoid a similar situation in future,” Dr Kaingu said.
The Government in June closed CBU following the stand-off between the University Council and unionised CBU academic staff who had demanded the removal of the vice-chancellor of the institution, Naison Ng’oma.
However, the institution was reopened a fortnight ago after the Government and the CBU academic staff union met to come up with a consolidated agreement.
Dr Kaingu directed the newly-appointed committee comprising eight members to work on the task and report to him within two weeks.
He said he would announce four other members set to join the committee.
The minister has retained the council chairperson Friday Ndhlovu, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Patrick Nkanza and staff union representative Mwiya Songolo.
Others on the committee are Owen Mgemezulu, Henry Tukombe, both directors at the ministry, CBU lecturer Patrick Phiri and Humphrey Mwenya who is a student representative and Lucy Mungomba. Both from the University of Lusaka.
He said the CBU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ng’oma remained on an indefinite leave until further notice.
Dr Kaingu also advised managers in the public institutions to work hard and improve the standards of learning and management of the institutions.
Meanwhile, the Government has inducted the interim committee that was appointed by Dr Kaingu to address concerns raised by the University of Zambia (UNZA) lecturers.
The inauguration of the interim committee took place at the UNZA.
Business consultant Namucana Musiwa is the chairperson of the interim committee.
Dr Kaingu said the appointment of the interim committee was important as the university was a major institution that required urgent attention.
“For an institution with great diverse operations and significant complexity as UNZA, the process of appointing a council is one we must give careful consideration,” he said.
He charged the committee with the responsibility to look into the university’s financial position and create a new image for the learning institution.
Dr Kaingu reminded the interim committee that it had the responsibility to provide an oversight role 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.
UNZA Chancellor, Dr Jacob Mwanza said that the caretaker committee had a responsibility to oversee productivity in dealing with matters affecting the institution and encourage diplomatic approaches to conflict resolution.