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.
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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :