THE National University of Lesotho yesterday suspended lectures after students staged a three-day strike to press for the disbursement for their allowances from the National Manpower Development Secretariat (NMDS).
NUL Registrar Liteboho Maqalika-Lerotholi, said in a statement yesterday that classes had been suspended till further notice due to an “illegal strike” by students since Monday.
Ms Maqalika-Lerotholi said the students had embarked on the strike without communicating with the university management who subsequently learnt from the Student Representative Council (SRC) that the strike was due to the delayed payment of allowances from NMDS.
“The university management liaised with NMDS to fast-track the processing of allowances and many students have already received them. Despite progress made, students have continued to riot, disrupting university activities and destroying property,” Ms Maqalika-Lerotholi said.
“The Senate Executive of NUL decided to suspend lecturers at its meeting on the 30 August. Lectures at the NUL Roma Campus have been suspended until further notice.”
This is the second time that NUL has suspended classes this year, having done so on 11 April prior to the students’ final examinations.
The latest suspension comes as the institution is preparing for the graduation ceremony which is scheduled for 7 and 14 October this year.
Meanwhile, Lefa Masupha, a member of the NUL SRC, said the authorities were within their rights to suspend lectures as the strike was “illegal”.
“This academic year started almost three weeks later than the previous ones but students are already receiving their allowances unlike in the past when we got them in mid-September,” Masupha said.
“For us to strike, we have to give the university a 21-day notice but this strike was not organised by the SRC.
“We tried to reason with some of the students they said that they wanted everyone to receive the allowances at once and not in batches hence the strike.
The NUL management is therefore within its rights to suspend lectures,” he added.