Monday, 9 November 2015
ZAMBIAN STUDENTS IN RUSSIA STARVING- SAYS STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE
By MacPherson Mukuka *in Lusaka*
Zambian students in Russia have expressed concern over the delay by Government through the Bursaries Committee in releasing their top up allowances.
Zambian Student Community president in Smolensk, Russia JOSEPH TEMBO said in a statement released to ZNBC today that the Bursaries Committee was supposed to pay students at the beginning of the academic year, but has not done so for the last 2 months.
Mr. Tembo a 6th Year General Medicine and Surgery Student says at the beginning of every academic year, students are required to pay for visa extension, medical policy and accommodation but Zambian students has not done so due to the delay.
He says failure to pay for the latter leads to eviction from hostels, while the former are offenses that lead to expulsion and deportation.
He says the past months have been hard for the students as they have exhausted all their sources of income.
Mr. Tembo said the students are now starving, and cannot borrow anymore because their Zimbabwean creditors are waiting for them to settle their debts.
He says when the secretary to the Bursaries Committee was contacted, she said that the BC has not been funded and she had no idea as to when the funds will be made available.
He has since I appealed to President EDGAR LUNGU to look into the welfare of foreign students adding that most scholarship students abroad are coming from poor families and they completely depend on the top up allowances for their survival.
Mr. Tembo has stressed that if students do not pay for their hostels, they will be evicted from hostels and If they do not renew their visas, they will be deported, and If they are discovered that they do not have medical policies, they will be deported.
He has added that If students fail to go attend classes due to lack of money for their bus fares, they will be missing classes and that will lead to expulsion.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Higher Education Acting Permanent Secretary, DAVID NDOPU has called for calm in the Zambian Student Camp in the middle East Nation.
Mr. NDOPU says Government is aware of the problem and is doing all it can to avert the situation.
He says the ministry has engaged the Ministry of Finance to see when the funds will be released to the students.
Mr. NDOPU has however indicated that the situation has not only affected the students in Russia but also those in other countries and within Zambia.
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