Mutharika accepts to meet University of Malawi Students Union over fees impasse: CSOs wants Chanco reopened

President Peter Mutharika has granted an audience to University of Malawi Students Union (UMSU) slated for Thursday at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe after the students delivered a letter seeking for an appointment.

The KCN students  saying the fees hike must be brought down because they are too poor to afford it.

The KCN students saying the fees hike must be brought down because they are too poor to afford it.

The students delivered the letter to the Principal Administrator of OPC, Clement Phiri  in Lilongwe on Monday requesting to meet President  Mutharikawho is also chancellor of University of Malawi (Unima).

UMSU President, Tionge Sikwese, said after a meeting which was held by UMSU representatives and other public universities at Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN) campus in Lilongwe on 30 July, resolved to seek  for an audience with the President as they want to express  their feelings of dismay towards the fee hike proposed by UNIMA council and government.

Presidential Press SecretarY  Mgeme Kalilani said on Tuesday that President Mutharika has accepted the request to meet the students.

“The President has accepted to meet the students union leaders and it has since pleased him to grant them audience on 4th August 2016 at Kamuzu Palace at 1pm,” Kalilani said in a news statement,

Chancellor College (Chanco), Polytechnic and KCN students have all held demonstrations protesting to the new fee hike saying the fee hike is too much and most students cannot afford.

UMSU, who also agree with a reasonable increase of fees if the hike is necessary have said those who pay K55 000 should pay not more than K100 000. Those paying K250 000 should pay K275 000, those who pay K275 should pay K280 000 and the new first years should pay K300 000.

They continued to say mature students for KCN and College of Medicine should not have their fees hiked since they are already expensive and mature students for Polytechnic and Chanco should pay K400 000.

Meanwhile, the Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) has called for a prompt re-opening of the Chanco which was indefinitely closed three weeks ago, due to disagreements over fees hike.

Co-signed by board Chairperson for Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC), Robert Mkwezalamba, and Desmond Mhango of NGO Coalition for Child Rights (CCR), the education rights bodies  said the indefinite closures that colleges, especially Chanco, has had and continue to experience “ trigger a high degree of instability of the college and negatively affect the effectiveness of the institution.”

The statement warns that while the closure might sound plausible, it stands to violate the student’s rights to education which is provided for in Section 13 of the country’s Constitution, should it be unduly prolonged.

The CSOs have since recommended a “reasonable hike” of fees, saying the current proposed figures are “unreasonable” and a “deliberate ploy” by government to further push the poor to the margin of misery.

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6 thoughts on “Mutharika accepts to meet University of Malawi Students Union over fees impasse: CSOs wants Chanco reopened”

  1. Haswel Bandawe says:

    The Increase in University fees should be withdrawn; and the Minister of Education should resign for ill advising Government to raise the fees so dramatically at a time when the country is going through an economic downturn that has been aggravated by the drought.

    Government’s priorities are wrong. Education at all levels is not a luxury. It is a linchpin for socio-economic development. Whatever fees are in place should be token amounts of cost recovery.

    It is unconscionable for Government to buy new fleet of cars for the Presidential convoy and keep so many State houses and deny students access to tertiary education by raising college fees.

    If ever Government wanted to have an opportunity to listen to people, this is the time to do it: withdraw the increase in fees.

  2. mphevu says:

    why does the university keep recruiting students when it has no money to fund the students. select the number you can afford and make room available for those who can aford

  3. Unenesko Nguwemi says:

    Fees should go down immediately.Donot look at the roads and buildings in Lilongwe,Blantyre or Mzuzu .They tell us nothing about our econonmy.Go to the village and see reality about poverty.People even fail to buy maluwa soap,salt.We cannot talk of sugar.If you move in some areas people are still pounding maize to make flour.They put on torn clothes.Where do you think these can get such money.Put yourself in their shoes.It is not students demonstrating but parents

  4. Ben says:

    Its all staged to counter Chakwera’s meeting with UNIMA Students meeting last week. za ziii

    1. Namuona says:

      Any sensible person can compare our university fees with those of neighbouring countries. Our economy cannot match our neighbours. Those in power should institute sound economic policies that are similar or better than our neighbours. Look at public or civil service salaries which the government offers to the people who largely send their wards to such instructions. One time the same dpp instituted an inquiry to look into the salaries of civil and public servants; they visited neighbouring countries but to this day nothing is on the ground and yet the government is only comparing university fees and quickly wants it implemented.
      Find a better way of IGA not this one: you have goofed.

    2. Mlakho says:

      Ben, Zaii? Si bola form four yako yong’ambikayo udathananayo kale, uliphe ukupanga business ya mbewa. Ulibenso ndi abale omwe alindi tsogolo la sukulu. Madrasa yoweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

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