2009-01-23 07:06:00 Lecturers want all students readmitted By Beatus Kagashe THE CITIZEN Lecturers at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) have demanded the admission of all students who fail to re-register due to lack of fees. The university re-opened Monday but is considering only students who are able to pay fees as part of the conditions for readmission. Registration began amid heavy presence of anti-riot police who were screening students entering the university campus. In a statement that could spark fresh trouble at the state institution, the UDSM Academic Staff Assembly (Udasa) yesterday urged the university management to unconditionally re-admit all students. The statement called on the management to review its current re-admission conditions to allow all students to resume lectures. The lecturers also demanded the removal of state security agents from the campus, a position which is likely to fly in the face of university management. Signed by Prof Yared Kihore on behalf of Udasa, the statement condemned the situation and "events" at the university as "not conducive" for learning. "We want all the routes to and from the University re-opened as before," read part of the statement. The university's Vice Chancellor, Prof Rwekaza Mukandara said he would not comment on the statement because he had not officially received the lecturers' demands. He said: "When we get their statement we will comment but so far we haven't seen it." And in an interview with The Citizen yesterday, Udasa secretary Prof Josephat Rugemalira expressed doubt that the university management would listen to their demands. But he said they would intervene "for the sake of the university" and the majority students whom he doubted would be able to meet the conditions. "All students must be readmitted regardless of the criteria so that they can start studying immediately," said Prof Rugemalira adding that they had set up two teams to look into the cause of the current problems. He said the armed police and "intelligence spies" at the campus were a disturbance to the university community which should be removed. The professor also urged the university management to open all campus entrances closed since Monday. Although the lecturers' statement did not specify what action they would take if their demands were ignored, a university employee who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Citizen some lecturers suggested they would not conduct lectures until their requests were met. "There is talk here that they (lecturers) will not teach if their demands are ignored. It is not surprising," he said.The lecturers' demands come amid similar calls by the opposition, which is now planning to pursue the matter in parliament. In a statement, Chadema, which recently alleged that there was political interference in the readmission process, said it would table an urgent private motion in parliament to press for the readmission of all students. The opposition's shadow education minister, Ms Susan Lyimo said the party wanted all students unconditionally readmitted to the state university. She said the opposition would table the proposed motion as soon as parliament resumes seating on January 27. "It is very unfortunate that students from poor families are being locked out of the university for failing to pay fees," said the Chadema MP. "But we will make sure the motion is tabled and discussed so that we save students from poor families who do not meet the readmission criteria," she added. The UDSM and five other public universities were closed in November last year following strikes by students opposing the cost sharing policy. The Government warned students who did not meet the readmission conditions to stay away or appeal to the education minister. UDSM is readmitting only students who have cleared their fees. The minister for Education and Vocational Training, Prof Jumanne Maghembe said those who failed to meet the fees condition should seek his clearance first. However, he said those who defied orders to write letters requesting to rejoin the university had dismissed themselves.