7 rioting students granted bail, 4 remain in custody

Seven of the 11 Ntcheu Secondary School students arrested last week for being suspected to be ring leaders in damaging their school property were Wednesday released on bail by the Ntcheu Magistrate Court.

The 11 were among a group of 47 students police initially arrested on Friday after they went on rampage and vandalized school property in an attempt to force school authorities to put an end to what they described as baseless suspensions.

The remaining 36 students were freed after police investigations uncovered that they were misled by the 11 who were the ring leaders in the destruction of the property.

Magistrate Paul Chanza ordered the 11 students to pay K50 000 each as bail bond but only seven managed to pay the money.

The other four, at the time of the report, remained in police custody after they failed to raise the said amount, according to Ntcheu Police spokesperson Alice Sankhulani confirmed.

Investigations by Nyasa Times have corroborated the students’ allegations that the administration mainly the headmaster, his deputy, the boarding master and another official from the District Education Office connive to suspend students without substantial reasons in a bid to fill their places with relatives.

Nyasa Times has found out that Ntcheu Secondary School has about 38 known students, particularly in Forms one and three,  who were not selected to the school but found their way there either because they are related to the said school management members or their parents “bought” the place for them.

Meanwhile, all the students have been sent home and will only be readmitted upon a payment of K5000 each which will be used to replace the vandalised property.

Parents of the students have also been invited to a meeting to take place this Saturday, June 15, at the school to discuss the matter and map the way forward.

Among others the students broke all classroom and hostel glasses, damaged window panes and desks.

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