Zambia police on Tuesday warned students from the country’s public universities against holding any protests regarding the government’s decision to scrap meal allowances.

The move to scrap meal allowances for state-sponsored students has caused an outcry, with various stakeholders voicing concerns that it may force students from impoverished families to abandon their education.

Zambia’s police spokesperson Esther Mwaata-Katongo said the police have received intelligence reports that the students were planning to march to the parliament building over the meal allowances. The spokesperson however warned that the police would not tolerate any acts of lawlessness and that there was no need for unnecessary confrontation.

“We have information that students from learning institutions are planning to march to parliament over issues of meal allowances,” she said. “Our advice to the students is that they should follow the laid down procedures in airing their grievances as opposed to taking to the streets.” The spokesperson added that the police have details of people orchestrating the protest and that they will be dealt with should the protest go ahead.

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