Sunday, April 21, 2024

Riots stop founder from addressing Limkokwing students

The founder and President of Limkokwing University, Dr Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Paduka Dr Lim Kok Wing, last week would not meet disgruntled students, amid riots by students demanding he address their grievances.

University spokesperson, Mercy Thebe, said this following an inquiry from The Telegraph.

“He was scheduled to address the students on Thursday 23rd May 2013 at 2pm, a meeting whose schedule had already been communicated to the student body. But due to the unrest the address was cancelled for safety and security reasons,” said Thebe.

Thebe added that Professor Lim Ko Kwing was on an official visit, which included meetings with various government officials, the University Council, the Limkokwing regional management team and the Tertiary Education Council regarding the development of the campus in Botswana.

Students last week saw the visit of their university President as an opportunity to voice their unhappiness over their book allowances and the suspension of fellow students. Thebe, however, said the students were misinformed about last week’s meeting.

“This address was not specifically about the bookstore/ book allowance issue as all Limkokwing Botswana campus matters are handled by the local management team, and where relevant/necessary the Tan Sri Limkokwing and the University council will advise,” she said.

The university’s management, and the Ministry of Education and Skills Development, have been accused by ousted SRC President Pitwane of trying to bribe him and three other students to keep quiet when Dr Lim Kok Wing is in Botswana.

Pitwane claimed he was approached to stay silent in exchange of a reduction of his suspension to three months.

Thebe expressed great disappointment with the former SRC president for using tactics to “manipulate, misinform and tarnish the name of the institution”. She said the University Management is concerned about his allegations and is seeking legal intervention and advice on what she referred to as defamation.

Last week, riots led to the arrest of 13 students, including Pitwane. Ten other students reportedly sustained injuries during the stand off with police.

Students interviewed by this publication accused the police of assault with knobkerries. Some claimed they were shot at. At least two students were reported to have fractures with others claiming police hit them in the private parts.

One student told The Telegraph they are waiting for medical reports so they could file a case against the Sir Seretse Khama Airport Police. 

“What shocked me was seeing the Police beating a student, one disabled student was also assaulted by the Police,” said the student. “We were not singing or doing any protests… we were sitting, waiting to be addressed by our suspended leader.”

The 13 arrested students were freed on Monday morning after a brief appearance before the Village Magistrate Court. They are to appear again in court on June 28, represented by their lawyer, Friday Leburu.

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