Vice Chancellor Professor Address Malata said MUST invited members of the Parliamentary Committee on Education to visit the university to appreciate its challenges and help it lobby for more resources during the budget approval process.
The MPs visited the MUST campus on Saturday, March 12, 2022 and were briefed about MUST’s salary deficit of K1.5 billion, lack of purpose built science laboratories, lecture theatres, staff houses and inadequate students’ accommodation, among others.
The MPs were also briefed on the university’s plans such as operationalization of an industrial park which is currently under construction but will need resources to buy equipment.
“On the purpose built lab, we have been given K1 billion out of the K14 billion needed. On students’ accommodation, the investor the Public Private Partnership Commission identified for us has not showed up and already we have had to improvise by turning an ex-contractors camp into hostels where around 14 students are sharing a room. Even our original hostels, we have increased the capacity from two students per room to four. Our staff members continue to commute on daily basis from town due to lack of staff houses on campus,” said Professor Malata while pleading with the legislators for support.
To appreciate for themselves the dire situation on campus, the legislators toured the university teaching hospital, industrial camp, and the improvised hostels, among others. Other areas were skipped due to bad weather on the day.
Speaking on behalf of the chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Education, Honourable George Chaponda said they were saddened with the situation and will do everything possible to lobby for more resources.
“The most important thing is that you have not folded your hands in frustration, you are doing something. There are plans on the ground to address some of these challenges and we can assure you of our support,” he said.