After a fairly peaceable phase, volatility is likely to re-emerge at Chancellor College in Zomba, a constituent of the University of Malawi (UNIMA), following students’ plans to hold demonstrations Thursday, December 12.
Chancellor College Students Union President, Israel Masiyano, confirmed the development saying they have planned to go into the streets to protest against government’s delays to hike their book allowances.
The students currently receive K30 000 annually as their book and stationery allowances.
But the students had been arguing that the allowance was not enough considering the prevailing costs of items and their leader said they have resorted to demonstration following failed government promises that they would adjust the allowances upwards.
“We were supposed to hold the demonstration today [Wednesday] but we had put it on hold for discussions and consultations with other quarters. If we fail to get a solution in form of convincing response from government by end of business today the demonstration will go ahead on Thursday,” said Masiyano.
He said during the march, the students will also present a petition to District Commissioner for Zomba who will forward it President Joyce Banda, Chancellor of UNIMA.
Already President Banda has on her desk, another petition related to the same which was presented to her by Polytechnic students, another constituent of the University of Malawi, in May this year in which they demanded an increase in their living allowance from K40,000 to K60,000 each.
The disgruntled students’ demand came following government decision to hike tuition fees both for students who pay their way through college and those who are called mature-entry or adults. Fees for mature- entry and self-sponsored students were raised from K100, 000 to K250,000.
Since President Banda told over government, there had been a series of protests from students from almost all UNIMA constituent colleges including Mzuzu University demanding an increment on their monthly meal and upkeep allowances.