Zambia – Fourteen students arrested during riots

Fourteen students arrested during riots

May 17 2005 at 11:47AM

Lusaka – Riot police in Zambia fired tear gas on Monday night at hundreds of students from the country’s biggest university who stoned vehicles and barricaded main roads to protest the government’s refusal to increase their allowances.

Students from the University of Zambia battled police for over three hours before they were forced back to their campus, a law enforcement spokesperson said.

"We arrested 14 students and they are currently (being) detained," Brenda Muntemba said on Tuesday.

A motorcade carrying President Levy Mwanawasa who was returning from a trip to Libya was diverted after students blocked the main highway from the airport.

‘It’s a pity that we had to divert the head of state because of the unreasonable behaviour’
"It’s a pity that we had to divert the head of state because of the unreasonable behaviour of the students," Muntemba added.

Police vehicles were among those smashed by the rock-throwing students, she said.

Riot police surrounded the university campus early on Tuesday as students gathered in a bid to stage another protest near the grounds, Muntemba said.

The students are demanding that government increase their meal, book and study allowances by 100 percent, arguing that the current amount paid to them was too low.

Government support programs provide students with a monthly meal allowance of 300 000 kwacha (about R350) and study allowance of about 400 000 kwacha. – Sapa-AFP

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