Malawi Police in Zomba have arrested about 11 students from Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi (Unima) in Zomba, for being suspected of playing a big hand in planning, execution and leading the anti-fee hike demonstrations.
Identities of the students include Hazel Chiomba, Sithembile Shawa, Glory Mwakaileke, Ellen banda, Martha Sani, Chimwemwe Msosa Caroline Njete, Yamikani Bema, Tinenenji Kabudula and Hope Phiri.
Earlier police fired tear gas to the demonstrators which the University authorities described them as illegal.
University of Malawi Students Union (Umsu) president Tionge Sikwese said they held demonstrations to force the university council to reverse the fee hike.
Unima council recently announced that mature entry students will be paying tuition fees ranging from K900 000 ($1249) to K1.4 million ($1 942), first year generic students will pay fees in the range of K400 000 ($555) to K600 000 ($833) while continuing students will pay K400 000 per annum.
But authorities said the students didn’t follow the right procedures.
Zomba District commissioner wrote UMSU barring them from holding the demonstrations, saying their notifications did not satisfy “mandatory preliminary requirements.”
Police said they have made arrests because protestors turned violent.
The students tussled with the police who fired teargas to disperse them.
Meanwhile, Chancellor College principal, Richard Tambulasi, said in a statement that management is following the development closely ensuring that college property and welfare of both staff and students is protected.
He said however in the event that the property has been destroyed, “the college shall have no option but to hold all students responsible for the act.”
The principal has since advised students who need assistance regarding security to contact university authorities.