Court stops Malawi Catholic University indefinite closure

Students at the Catholic University of Malawi (Cunima) in Nguludi on Wednesday obtained an injunction restraining the institution’s administration from closing the school indefinitely after they were ordered to vacate the premises by noon.

The development followed failure by management and the students to reach an understanding after they vowed to continue boycotting classes until their grievances were met.

Deputy High Court Registrar Nyakwawa Usiwausiwa confirmed the development but could not divulge more information pertaining to the injunction saying he was in a meeting.

A student with her baggage and for friends awaits to leave the campus after closure on Wednesday afternoon.-Photocredit Mana

However, one of the students who was still at the campus said that an injunction had been granted but most students had already left for their homes.

“Yes, an injunction has been obtained by our friends who are on their way here unfortunately most students have left, so I don’t know what is going to happen,” said the student.

The College’s Vice Chancellor Anaclet Phiri and his staff called for a general meeting with the students on Tuesday that ended abruptly as the students were not convinced with the response they were getting from the top officials.

It all started about a month ago when the students staged peaceful demonstrations where they petitioned the administrators to find the lasting solution to water problem which had hit the institution for some time.

The students say instead of responding to the petition, the students were surprised to learn that some of their friends had been called for disciplinary action for allegedly being ring leaders for the demonstrations.

This prompted the students to demand an address from the management on Friday in anger with their decision to call for discipline four students on allegations of being leaders for the sit-in that took place about three weeks ago.

The scholars also demanded that management should respond to the petition they were served with three weeks ago with no official communication.

Cunima is one of the first non-government academic institutions to be recognised in the country and one of the most expensive colleges in Malawi with fees of about K1 million per annum per student.

It provides an alternative to the on demand public universities namely Mzuzu University, University of Malawi and the newly introduced Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

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