Mzuzu University Students Representative Council (Musrec) will hold demonstrations today to force government to reopen the Mzuzu University (Mzuni) and address issues surrounding the sit-in by both academic and non-academic staff of the university which led to its closure.
The students also plan to hold a vigil at Parliament Building in Lilongwe until their demands are me, according to Musrec president Wazamazama Katatu.
Youth and Society (YAS) executive director Charles Kajoloweka is backing the studenrs plans to hold demonstrations.
Kajoloweka said the current academic crisis has a negative bearing on the socio-economic development of young people, their families and the general population.
“The President [Peter Mutharika] cannot continue abdicating his constitutional obligation of providing sound leadership on matters of national significance. President Mutharika should come out and account for the current crisis and provide a sense of direction,” he said.
The staff, through their respective unions—Mzuni Non-Academic Staff Trade Union (Munastu) and Mzuni Academic Staff Union (Muasu)—are demanding a 35 percent increase across the board to reflect the current standard of living and the rising inflation rates.
Mzuni Vice-Chancellor Robert Ridley told news organisations recently that government does not have the financial muscle to meet the demands, which would cost the taxpayer an extra K1.5 billion.
Meanwhile, students from the Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi (Unima), are out of the Wednesday demonstrations.
Polytechnic Students Union (PSU) General Secretary Chifundo Nkhata, said his union has been advised by its lawyer not to take part in the demonstration due to the sensitivity of the case proceedings between University Council and PSU Council over implementation of the hiked fees.
“Due to the sensitivity of the case proceedings between University Council and PSU Council over implementation of the hiked fees, the PSU has been advised by its legal counsel to retract from participating in the joint demonstrations that are slated for November 30,” reads the statement in part.
The students have accused government of abandoning its responsibility, after Ministry of Ediucation told them to engage their respective councils on the matter.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :