President of University of Malawi Students’ Union refuses to resign:  ‘Will never stop fighting for a common good’

University of Malawi Students’ Union (UMSU) president Tionge Sikwese has said he will not resign from his position and that  no member of UMSU will resign, rejecting allegations   that they received bribes from President Peter Mutharika to accept compromise  of  a reduction of K50 000 on the recent fee hike.

Sikwese: President of University of Malawi Students’ Union refuses to resign:  ‘Will never stop fighting for a common good’

Sikwese :  ‘Will never stop fighting for a common good’

There have been fevered speculation that the UMSU team that met President Mutharika has been given a sweetenor to accept the K50,000 reduction on fees.

But Sikwese parried away the allegations as baseless.

“We were not bribed these are false allegations,” Sikwese said.

He said in an interview published in weekend paper: “ One should understand the rules of negations, because it is not always that one’s wishes will be granted. As UMSU, we proposed the following figures since we have different category of student paying different fees structure: for K55 000.00 categories we proposed that they should be paying K100 000; for K250, 000 category we proposed that they should be paying K275 000; for the category of K275 000.00, because the fee was already high, we proposed that they should be paying K280 000.00.

“ Finally, we proposed K300 000 as the maximum figure in fees for first years in all the constituent colleges. But to our dismay, which was very unfortunate, we discovered that the University Council had presented to the president K320 000 as the current fee structure which each and every Unima student is paying. So it was like the hike was being effected from the stipulated K320 000. As such, the president’s view, which he said were a win-win situation, was of K350 000 at the negotiation table.”

Sikwese also dimissed assertions that UMSU has betrayed students on the matter, saying  “actually UMSU has worked tirelessly on the matter, you can only image since from the month of May up to now day and night we have been working on it, so where is the betrayal coming from? Why resign and on what grounds? I will not resign and no UMSU member is going to resign.”

He continued: “ There are a number of issues which have been said concerning UMSU on this matter of fee hike. But all in all, UMSU is there for the good will of all Unima students and UMSU will never stop fighting for a common good will when it comes to students’ welfare.”

Sikwese said the campaign for affordable tertiary education will continue to be pursued.

“Currently most students are facing a number of challenges; from finding their own accommodation—of which the rentals are very expensive per month—to footing their own meals that average K800 a meal.

“And then there is tuition fees of which a good number struggle to raise. I guess these are enough factors to make the Union fight for its members; hence the noise we are making which has been christened by the hash-tag FeesMustFall! And we are doing this for no other reason apart from fighting for students’ welfare, which I believe is the main mandate we were elected for. And I guess it is just logical to do it now when the country’s economy is also in doldrums.

“Many households, though vital to the socio-economic development of the country, just cannot afford tertiary education for their children; which is very unfortunate.”

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Pax Romana
Guest
Pax Romana
1 month 10 days ago

This time watch out for plain police men during demonstrations.They will shoot to kill.Last time you were saved by the skin of your teeth.

SAMSUNG NOKIA
Guest
1 month 12 days ago

akuti ‘for the common good” kaya akudziwa meaning yake kaya

CHIKUTUMBWE
Guest
CHIKUTUMBWE
1 month 12 days ago

UMSU PRESIDENT TAONGA SIKWESE’S ENGLISH IS HORRIBLE!!!!!! HE PRONOUNCES “SAUZANDE” INSTEAD OF THOUSAND, AMONG OTHER GRAMMATICAL MISTAKES. YOU PEOPLE DID YOU REALLY GO THROUGH THE RIGOROUS CAMPAIGNS THAT GO ALONG WITH SUCH POSITIONS?

Gogodasi
Guest
Gogodasi
1 month 12 days ago
Sikwese, your arguments are not strong enough. The point is that you have betrayed your fellow students. You never negotiated, but you were simply listening to the authorities bark and your job was to clap hands. The best you can do is to resign and let someone else restart the negotiation process until fees fall – you are useless. You were at Kamuzu Palace simply to admire the building and drink tea wa mkaka, that’s all. Azungu akalephera amasiya udindo to show that they are civilized, don’t behave like a dictator to cling to power when you are irrelevant. Are… Read more »
alfred abraham
Guest
alfred abraham
1 month 12 days ago

SIKWESE ARE YOU TELLING THE NATION THAT THE UNIVERSITY CHANCELLOR WHO HAPPENS TO BE THE PRESIDENT DO NOT KNOW THE FEES STRUCTURE THAT HE ALLOWED TO BE LIED TO BY THE UNIVERSITY COUNCIL AND YOU AGREED TO THAT LIE I THINK U ARE A FOOL . IF YOU DO NOT HAVE NEGOTIATING SKILLS YOU SHOULD HAVE KEPT QUIET AND LET YOUR FRIEND DO THE SPEAKING YOU’VE LET THE NATION DOWN YOU NEED TO STEP DOWN YOU HAVE FAILED HOW CAN YOU AGREE TO A MK50000 REDUCTION

Mwananyanian
Guest
1 month 13 days ago
If this is the extent of persuasion on this most important issue, by the student leadership, then count me out as their supporter. I’ll just oppose the fees on my own. The fact is that current tuition fees are NOT affordable to many families and guardians. As simple as that; and Period. No wonder the students were outwitted by pros on the other side. Lesson learned. Or was it? BTW, who was advising the students on the tactics? Did I hear it was the Opposition leadership and J K-K? If that true, there is no hope of the advisers ever… Read more »
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