Malawi Police have arrested Chancellor College Students Union president James Ayuba Sylvester following the protests the students from Chancellor College (Chanco), a constituent college of the University of Malawi, concucted over fees hike.
Accoridng to police, Ayuba been arrested together with University of Malawi Students Union (UMSU) vice president Godfrey Pumbwa and the college’s UMSU representative Fiskan Nkhoma.
The three are facing charges of inciting violence.
This follows students burning tyres on the road M5 road blocking United States second lady Dr. Jill Biden motorcade.
Biden in the company of USA ambassador to Malawi Virgin Palmer and Malawi’s Minister of Education Science and Technology, Emmanuel Fabiano, sought temporal refuge at the Eastern Region Police office in Zomba as they waited for the situation to calm down but cancel the visit to return to Blantyre.
Ayuba said students “were holding peaceful sit-in” at Chanco campus but were provoked by heavy handedness of Police who stormed the campus to intimidated them.
Meanwhile, Chanco has been closed with immediate effect.
The college principal, Richard Tambulasi, announced that the school has been closed because “the demonstrations were illegal and for the security threat that the demonstrations posed”.
Tambulasi has however, not indicated when the college will open.
Chancellor College students together with other Unima students have been expressing their concern with the decision by the Unima council to hike school fees which students argue is too exorbitant. However, the university council has also put its foot down that it will not reverse the fee hike because the cost of running the university has gone up.
Last week the University of Malawi Students’ Union (UMSU) announced their intention to hold a vigil at the university office to force university to reverse the fee hike. However, The Malawi Polytechnic, another constituent college of Unima, did not take part in the demonstrations because they are sitting for end of year examinations.