Chanco students demonstrate over government delay to pay allowances

Students at Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi (UNIMA) on Friday afternoon staged a demonstration in reaction to government’s delay in paying their book and stationery allowances.

The students held the protests to push forward the issues that have not been addressed ever since the school was opened. The issues include that of SACCO, Malswitch and school fees.

A Nyasa Times source said the demonstration was ignited when Minister of Education Eunice Kazembe and her principal secretary John Bisika went at the college to attend a graduation ceremony for E-Learning students.

He said the students wanted to express their anger to the Minister after administration at the college have been refusing to register about 500 government and non-government-sponsored students, leading to a situation which attracts a late registration fee of K2 000 per day.

Under siege: Chancellor College campus

Said one source: “Government has not paid us our school fees up to date. Worse still, they are charging us a K2 000 late registration fee per day. So, we converged on the campus’ quadrangle at 12 pm and resolved to hold a demonstration.”

Heavily armed police were called to the scene and had running battles with the students for the better part of the afternoon.

The students chanted songs of contempt and resentment against the Principal of the college and his Vice.

They blocked the arc which bears the words ‘Welcome to Chanco, the home of Academic Freedom’.

Teargas canisters were fired to disperse the disgruntled students and one female student was arrested, and released later on.

Meanwhile, Students Union of Chancellor College (SUCC) president Israel Masiyano has said students have started submitting their registration forms at the Potters Lodge after the college’s senior assistant registrar Elias Chizimba promised to look into the matter.

“We shall wait to see what will transpire on Monday but if nothing happens, the demonstrations will start again,” he said.

 

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