Malawian students at International University of Africa (IUA) who are under the Islamic Zakaat Fund bursary (IZF) have complained of inhumane treatment from their home office.
IUA is a public University in Khartoum, Sudan and IZF started sending students in 2000.
One of the students who is among the 2016 cohort confided to Nyasa Times that they are facing a lot of challenges ranging from accommodation, health and monthly allowances.
“Four or more students are being put in a room which was supposed to carter for two people. Through our union, we signed a contract with IZF that they shall provide health allowance. Now, when someone is ill, every time we send a report through our union, we are told that they don’t have any money. We are usually allocated a meager $70 per month for all 180 students as health allowance.
“For example, we had a student last year who was to undergo a surgery but by that time, the union had already used the health allowance. When we wrote to IZF home office we were told that there is nothing they could do as they have already sent us our monthly allowance, we had to contribute individually for our friend to be treated,” said our source that refused to be named.
He added that the students were supposed to be given $40 each as monthly allowances but the home office sometimes has been reluctant to honor the agreement which leaves the students in an awkward situation.
The $40 which Malawi students receive is too little compared to $140 which Zanzibar students who are under the same bursary receive.
He further said although they have tried to write IZF Malawi office several time, there has never been a favorable response as they are sometimes threatened to have they scholarships withdrawn.
In an interview with Nyasa Times, IZF Malawi Bursary officer Daud Pius said they have been in contact with the students’ parents and discussions are under way to address the issues raised.
“Where there is a case that requires our attention, we come in and address the same. For your information, we give the students a $40 stationary allowance at the start of every semester, a $40 monthly allowance as well as health allowance. What happens is that once they have used all the health allowance we come in to assist them mainly during serious cases,” he said.
IZF was registered as a charitable organization in 1991 for the interest of the Muslim community in Malawi with an initial aim to provide bursaries and scholarships to needy Muslim youth so that they become self reliant and contribute to the development of the community in particular and the nation at large.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :