There were running battles Friday in Malawi’s commercial capital, Blantyre, as anti-riot police clashed with students of The Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, for their solidarity with the shut down Chancellor College in protesting the tuition fee hike.
Unima council recently announced that mature entry students will be paying tuition fees ranging from K900 000 to K1.4 million, first year generic students will pay fees in the range of K400 000 to K600 000 while continuing students will pay K400 000 per annum.
Police fired tear gas to the students and the running battles went even to nearby Chitawira Township.
Several other students were also injured in the fracas while others fainted as teargas fumes choked them.
Some of the students braved the teargas and continued to voice their anger.
This has happened just soon after the police opened the Masausko Chipembere Highway to traffic after it was closed following reports of the students planned protests.
Southern region police spokesperson James Kadadzera said the police had intelligence reports that the students wanted to stage violent protests soon after their examinations.
“Prevention is better than cure so we decided to act on the intelligence reports,” said Kadadzera.
There was high presence of police at Ginnery Corner in the morning and afternoon. Reports said some students were seen collecting vehicle tyres at behind the old PTC shop at Ginnery Corner.
The Polytechnic students did not join their Chancellor College (Chanco) counterparts as they staged demonstrations on Monday and Tuesday because they were sitting for examinations.
Police said the students had no permission to conduct the protesrs and they had to dispense them for fear of rioting.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :