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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@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?…………




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!


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?

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… Read more »
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… Read more »

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.


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


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.


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.


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!

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