Malawi in diplomatic embarrassment as striking students block US second lady: National scandal as Chanco is shut down

Students at Chancellor College a constituent college of the University of Malawi (Unima) in Zomba,   have blocked US Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden’s motorcade in Matawale, Zomba while holding anti-fee hike demonstrations.

US's Jill Biden motorcade at Eastern Region Police office in Zomba

US’s Jill Biden motorcade at Eastern Region Police office in Zomba

The students burnt tyres on road blocking Biden’s motorcade from proceeding to Machinga.

Biden, who was accompanied by US ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer and Minister of Education, Emmanuel Fabiano were taken to Eastern Region police headquarters at the Zomba ‘Zero’ before returning to Blantyre, the commercial capital about 62km from the former capital city.

A US national who spoke to Nyasa Times in Zomba said the blocking of Biden is a “national scandal” and that all Malawians should be “embarrassed.”

“While the students should also be blamed, the intelligence head should be fired forthwith,” he recommended.

“People elsewhere have travelled in war torn countries an nothing of this sort has ever happened. And certainly  not in the peace Malawi.”

He called the incident a “diplomatic embarrasmenet” for Malawi.

University of Malawi Students Union (Umsu) president Tionge Sikwese said they held demonstrations to force the university council to reverse the fee hike.

Unima council recently announced that mature entry students will be paying tuition fees ranging from K900 000 ($1249) to K1.4 million ($1 942), first year generic students will pay fees in the range of K400 000 ($555) to K600 000 ($833) while continuing students will pay K400 000 per annum.

Earlier police arrested 11 students  who include  Hazel Chiomba, Sithembile Shawa, Glory Mwakaileke, Ellen banda, Martha Sani, Chimwemwe Msosa Caroline Njete, Yamikani Bema,  Tinenenji Kabudula and  Hope Phiri.

They were accused of leading demonstrations on Monday.

Meanwhile,  Chancellor College principal, Richard Tambulasi, has issued a statement  announcing “emergency closure” of the college due to what he called “illegal demonstrations” by student and  subsquent security threats.

Tambulasi said students “must leave campus” by 4pm on Tuesday July 19.

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44 thoughts on “Malawi in diplomatic embarrassment as striking students block US second lady: National scandal as Chanco is shut down”

  1. @Sibwen,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,being quite daz not mean that things are ok……quiteness in this case by COM means corwadice,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Remember that awa lives begin to end during the time wen become silent to thing that matters most in our live,,,,,in this case i find COM as suffering in silence ……afta alll those are ppop studying medicine and not human rightss so hw do yu expect them to voice out their conceerns?…………

  2. NYAPAPI says:

    AMUCHITA BWINO AKUMANA NDALAMA ZAWO AGALU AMENEWA AKABWERA KUNO IFE TIZINJENJEMERA, NATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT YACHANI?? CHAFA SICHIOPA KUOLA

  3. Rubbish says:

    I would like to point out that US Nationals do not use the word ‘forthwith’. This load of tosh is the dodgy joke of a Brit, and the reporter deserves a good bollocking!

  4. Central says:

    Did they say any insults at her? If no, stop the no-sense! Didn’t the police know that students are demonstrating in Zomba? Why did they advise timely for change of route!! If you have nothing to share about USA, then don’t waste our time!! Ndimayesa anthu adauzidwa kuti azidya “zitete ndi mbewa” tsopano?

  5. Khuvave says:

    Why is it an embarrassment? Who has been embarrassed? Americans are used to demonstrations. Even at the White House there are demos almost everyday. We are a democratic state and demos and part of freedom of expression. Students have achieved their goal by full drawing media attention and appearing on from pages. Students demos are even more violent and fatal in other countries. That’s a welcome development in any democratic country. For the US lady, it’s just another bump on the road. There is no police failure here. Armed forces don’t go well with unarmed civilians. Letting them demonstrate was a good way to go regardless of the noise being made. What embarrassment?

  6. Sibweni says:

    You reporters, why taking us for granted by confusing us, Daily times says the president for UMSU is Slyvester James and today Nyasa Times says spokesman it is Tionge Sikwese. Which paper is right here.
    Secondly, when I see these so called Chanco Students, I see a collection of fools who does not reason. As per fees allocation, out of all colleges under the university of Malawi Chanco seems to be on the lower part, so why this nonsense? Look at College of Medicine, they are always quiet which represent how brilliant they are. Poly has started behaving well these days and the rest of all colleges are good except toilet Chanco. plz behave other wise management is advised to allow every student back after fulfilling application process.

  7. Markus says:

    Malawi’s record was already dented with the cashgate scandal. Who do you think Malawi has got a good reputation as it used to have? Clean your house from inside first.

  8. Shameful says:

    How about the US intelligence? Where were they? This is your second lady and you entrusted her security with retarded Malawi security……..I’m sorry but you are just as retarded

    1. Ufulu says:

      No, you cant blame Malawi for lapse of the US Marines and CIA. The Americans are handling logistics and security of their first lady. They never involved Malawi Police Service in planning this trip. Did you see any MPS vehicle in the convoy? Please respect yourself.

  9. Issa says:

    Peter yemweyo kuti wawawawa????????????? Keep it up students akudzolowera agalua amenewa. Olo atseke sukulu adazatsegulabe. Olo muchedwe kumalidza koma mumalidzabe. After all no employment. So Fabiano told those diplomats that these are students demonstrating against school fees increase please give us donations if you want to pass.

  10. Kanthuako says:

    Some two years ago when these kinds of things happen we used to say “Boma la amayi…….” now it is high time to say ” Boma la professor watulo……………………….” .Am afraid ….with kind of sleepiness of this so called professor…… expect Chanco to be opended in the next 10 months or so!

  11. daniel mapulanga says:

    Which inteligence boss.do we have one in the country?him koma spying bushiri not important issues like this

  12. World\'s Last Chance says:

    Whats embarrassing here? or may be who has been embarrassed? Otherwise apa nde ma student a CHANCO a menya where it pains most. Ngakhale geri aseka komabe the visitors from the USA aziwanso kuti all is not well in Malawi as far as higher education is concerned. KUDOS to the organisers!!!!

  13. BIG FOLK says:

    who is she kuti ife tinjenjemele. ukooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!asaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Chipapwiche Kajhalwiche says:

    Uhule wachuluka pa Chanco Brothel

  15. james says:

    kkkk.. they a in university yet they dont evn understand anythin abt diplomats and diplomatic principles and rules. kkkk mbuzi zosazindikila kungotha malo a university. shaaaah kkkk

  16. Nyima says:

    Chanco students ndi mbuli ,xool yophweka pamalawi pano ndi imeneyo,Thats why they are able to do that ,without fear,akafunse anzawo,where ku weeder is the order of the day ,its rear to find students behaving like that,ndiye zikuthandizani chani ,mupita kunyumba ,mukavutike ndi njala,andale akukutumaniwo anaphunzira kale xool za ulelere ,inu kupepera bassssiiiiii kumaganiza ngati ma intellectuals

    1. Headteacher says:

      Wasukulu yovuta iwe it is “rear” indeed

      1. Poly says:

        Nanu a Headteacher sentence timamaliza ndi fullstop (.). Ku Chanco ko sanakuwuzeni zimenezi?

        1. Kholowa mkabudula says:

          Inuyo a Poly aphunzitsi anu sadakuwuzeni kuti fullstop mwalembayo ndi mawu awiri osiyana, full ndi stop?

          1. November Rain says:

            Nanga inunso a Kholowa Mkabudula aphunzitsi anu sanakambepo kuti [full ndi stop] mwalemba kumapeto kwa sentence yanuyi amayenera kulembedwa in inverted commas as “full” ndi “stop” osati full ndi stop?

  17. Haswel Bandawe says:

    Let’s separate two issues.
    1.Students demonstratings against a hike in fees. The protest (which should be non-violent) is legitimate.

    The fees are being raised at a time when the country is in the grip of food shortage; buying food is a priority for many families. The timing of the raise in fees is most unfortunate.

    The country is aware that a budget was recently passed which included allocation of purchase of new vehicles for the Presidential convoy; is that a priority over increased allocation to education?

    2. The second issue is managing the protocol for the US second lady. The hard-to-explain laxity of vigilance and preparations to ensure a smooth management of her trip is beyond belief.

    It is yet another case of people around the President sleeping on the job (literary and figuratively). Since the Parliament “sleeping spectacle” nothing has been done by the President. Ministers are implicated in corruption, no one is told to step down to allow for free investigations.

    Yes, we all bear the shame of a botched protocol, because we choose a Government of the caliber that it has. But we deserve better.

    An apology will, I hope, by now have been conveyed to the US .

    1. mgoloso says:

      Embarrassment yachani? – a Malawi kulemekeza anthu akunja kunyoza abale awo – zauchisilu basi.

    2. CHIPAPWICHE BWANAMDOKO says:

      I think what the students are doing is something stupid, now college is closed. do they think if they want a scholarship to the US they can be accepted? Mbizi za anthu basi za fee hike zimakhuzana bwanji ndi visitor and ontop of that kukaotcha hostel nde kuti pali nzeru? nanga atati boma lati sakweza nde mwaononga ma hostel mukakhala kuti? this is totaly stupit demo, take it or leave it. On security, lapse this is a general disease in our country.

  18. Solobala says:

    Demo’s…. right on time, big up Chanco

  19. malawi says:

    When you have an incompetent University Council and Management annually roaming on a single foolish decision when they disagree with students – closure of the university. They have no clue to dialogue / conflict resolution.

  20. Ngwazi says:

    Bravo and Well done chanco. More fire, kip de fire burning. It our money and our country. APM and his government are the ones who are embarrassing our nation at all levels.

    1. Ndigida says:

      No deaths ?? What a fake demo, where were the police ? where were the bullets ? The demo should be repeated till a little blood flows soon !!

  21. The Analyst says:

    O………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………O
    Malawi/Malawians has/have so many issues and problems to be ashamed of . . .
    . . . just belonging to Malawi now, is itself an embarrassment – ask anybody who travels or attends international fora; whereat, introductions and country descriptions are needed.
    …………………………………………………………………….
    Recently, Malawi was ranked the poorest country in the world. But . . .
    . . . do actions/inaction of APM or Chilima or their govt now; give any indication that these guys are embarrassed to lead the poorest country on earth? No! Its business as usual.
    ……………………………………………………………………..
    Just now, Malawi is bleeding from the cashgate scandal (very embarrassing). But . . .
    . . . does the action of our president or Chilima or their govt show a people who are embarrassed by the cashgate? hence a commitment to exonerate themselves or clear their names? Never!
    . . . they are even proud to stand in podiums and declare their ignorance, “I am not aware.”
    . . . they are even seen celebrating lack of effectiveness of the Anti Corruption Bureau..
    Then what makes you (the U.S. national) think that all Malawians should/will be embarrased because some U.S. vice predident’s lady and ambassador had their vehicles blocked? by some poor students?
    . . . Trust me, Malawi has a lot of problems to be embarrassed for, but this, is least among them.
    O………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………O

    1. Kanchenga says:

      The only thing that embarrasses me is the fact that with the lake, beautiful soil and had working plebians we are still a starving nation. Not this incident. The woman can go home and cook for her hubby. How could she expect anything clever from the total foolishness that surround our leadership. Shaa embarrassed. What a lie. Even the Americans were stupid to expect any sanity from Malawian social organs

  22. Maunisi says:

    Malawi will change if only and i repeat only MCP is running capital hill as it was during our Ngwazi. DPP shall never develop this country whether u want it or not. All these are fulls.

  23. Tamz says:

    The president should be ashamed cause he is not managing this country well ndiye sanatitu chiyambi chabe nanga makolofe tikalowerela wina amwalira chaka chake chino

  24. Ine says:

    I don’t think we have intelligence in Malawi….. Dausi amatsatira Peter kulikonse ndikumagawa zitenje za DPP kwa atsikana a mma filling station.. afunseni atsikana apa Rumphi Puma….

  25. President Pedro says:

    hanco yo atseke atsazatsegulenso atichititsa manyazi

  26. Ngwenya says:

    Why should every Malawian be ashamed in ndekha ndakukanira umuuze nzako chikutumbwe Pitala nkhani zake ziziyenda momwemu makani

  27. Zimayambila ku Chanco kenaka ma denostration a ma cso pomaliza cardiac arrest………munthu ndi kumwalila masiku atatu osogozana

  28. KKKKKKKK. Bingu syndrome! Malawi will never change

  29. BIGGIE says:

    Mbuzi, zomwa madzi ometera.

  30. chalo says:

    What else do you expect in a country where intelligence means trailing opposition leaders.

  31. mutharika says:

    it is not Malawians who should be embarrassed but rather the President himself

    1. meat says:

      Eti, Why should I as a Malawian be embarrassed, this has nothing to do with me.

    2. Disan says:

      Why should I be ashamed. This is Malawi at 52

    3. Bob Banda says:

      Don’t blame the demonstrating students try and understand their anger. I think this was the highlight of the demos. Malawians are not and will not be embarrassed but rather the leadership. poor decision making.

    4. man says:

      Atsogoleri mwaonjeza.That is a stupid fee hike.Athu mwawaonjezera ma salary.Muziyaluka choncho.Simunati,this is just the begining

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