THE remarks made by the UPND on students participation in the political dispensation
of the country is actually insulting to the student unions, says University of Zambia Students Union (UNZASU).
This is in reaction to the UPND President’s Special Advisor for Politics William Banda, who said in a video circulating on social media that students know nothing about governance and politics, and should stay out of the August 2021 electoral discourse .
But UNZASU President, Shadrick Mumba, described the sentiments from Mr. Hichilema’s Special Advisor for Politics as demeaning to students in universities and colleges all over the country. Mr Mumba said in an interview that the demeaning sentiments from Mr. Hichilema’s Special Advisor were worrying and should be condemned in their strongest terms because students as electorates have the right to participate in the governance of the country.
“He can’t publicly say that we know nothing as students from universities and colleges, does he mean that we don’t know how to vote? That video to us as students was quite insulting. I can only hope it did not come from the UPND President whom he represents as Special Advisor,” he said
Mr. Mumba said it was disappointing to youths to have Mr. Banda, a figure father, come out publicly in an undiplomatic manner, denouncing the voice of students in the country.
The UNZASU President explained contrary to Mr. Banda’s allegations, that students interest in the 2021 elections through the Democracy Defenders Coalition is actually timely as they are key stakeholders. Mr. Mumba further stated that the Coalition did not in any way advise the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to bar international election observers from the country, but merely proposed to the ECZ to put up strict guidelines in order to control and limit the number of election observers coming into the country from COVID-19 ravaged countries as a precautionary measure, just as some countries have gone to the extent of barring Zambians from traveling to those countries.