University of Kinshasa Closed Over Deadly Strike

Following the death of a Congolese Policeman killed during a students strike at the University of Kinshasa, government has closed the institution until further notice.

Vital Kamerhe, director of cabinet of President Félix Tshisekedi’s government said on Wednesday that the head of state had instructed the university be shut down and a proper verification of each student be conducted.

“The president would like to see verifications of the real students who have to return to their homes,” said Vital Kamerhe. According to him, the students have been infiltrated by people that killed a police officer on the second day of the strike.

“It has been established according to intelligence information that those who killed the police are not students of the university but infiltrators. And if we leave this situation, these infiltrators can kill the students and it will be said that it is the police,” he added in a statement to the press.

Students at University of Kinshasa are bitter at the recent increment of tuition by more than twice. Students from the University of Kinshasa have been demonstrating since Monday, January 06.

Students are demonstrating against the new tuition structure set at  485,000 Congolese Francs (285 USD) and 495,000 Congolese Francs (291 USD) for beginners.

Their preference is to pay the amount set by the Minister of Higher and University Education estimated at 164,000 Congolese francs (US $ 96).

The government has granted a 48-hour ultimatum to students to voluntarily leave the halls of residence, or they will be forced to do so.

“I have just spoken with the president and he has decided that before the council of ministers next Friday, he will receive the student committee to discuss with them on what should be beneficial both for the students and for the security of the country,” said Vital Kamerhe, director of cabinet for Félix Tshisekedi.

Meanwhile, Kasongo Kitenge Sylvano the Deputy Divisional Commissioner and Provincial Commissioner and commander of the city of Kinshasa told press that any student who will be present at the University of Kinshasa after Thursday, January 09, 2020 will be considered as an infiltrator, an enemy of the republic among the bandits who killed and seriously injured the police elements on Monday and Tuesday.