Malawi Catholic University shuts down indefinitely

Catholic university of Malawi (CUNIMA) has been shut down indefinitely following continued threats by students to hold demonstration over acute shortage of water at the institution.

The students were on Wednesday ordered to leave the campus by noon.

Students at the university campus in Nguludi, Chiradzulu district said the institution has had dry taps for longer period. They have been drawing water from the boreholes to fill cistern tanks in order to use the toilets in hostel  and that management of the university was not helpful.

Zitha Nangalembe a first year political leadership student and also a member of the Political Science Association at CUNIMA told Nyasa Times in an earlier interview that a number of students have fallen ill and were also failing to concentrate on their studies.

Cunima students in protests.– Photo by Nyasa Times

“The two hostels that we rely on for clean water have been giving out water mixed with sand. In certain cases the water that comes out is very dirty not fit for human consumption,” she said.

The students said because of the protests they held recently, the Vice Chancellor Professor Anaclet Phiri “picked a few individuals as ring leaders of the strike and gave them letters to call there parents. The letters contained a warning that if there is any strike again they are the ones to be chased from school, so we demanded that all of us [students] should be punished equally.”

The Vice Chancellor was to address a general meeting in the hall and all students came in wearing red, the attire they usually wear when they are on sit in.

“One of the students, a female student, just stood up and disrupted the Vice Chancellor and told him not to speak anything because what he was speaking was nosense, we all then walked out in protest,” said one student who asked for anonymity.

On Wednesday morning the students had a rude awakening when the notice board had a letter ordering them to leave the campus before noon.

There was heavy presence of police on the campus before lunch hour waiting for the student to leave the campus.

The closure of the school comes a month after the university held its third graduation since opening in 2006. About 80 obtained there Degrees in different fields where the Chancellor of the University Bishop Jospeh Zuza asked the remaining students to work hard in there studies.

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