Malawi Police engage student teachers in running battles, fire teargas

There were skirmishes Wednesday  in Malawi central tobacco growing district of Kasungu when police fired teargas at demonstrating student teachers.

The students, from Kasungu Teachers Training College (TTC) were, protesting against their delayed three-month allowances, poor diet and erratic water supply at their campus.

This is the third time in few months students from the college took to the streets to protest against the said issues.

Over 900 students, under the IPTE 8, marched to Kasungu District Council offices from their campus to present a petition to authorities to force them to address their issues.

However, the situation got ugly after deputy District Education Manager (DEM) for Kasungu District, Evelyn Mjima, declined to specify deadline when the issues would be dealt with.

Police fire tear gas
Police fire tear gas

The deputy DEM stated that it was unrealistic for her to give a deadline as she received only received the petition on behalf of the Ministry of Education which has the authority.

But her response angered the students who begun chanting ant-government songs within the District Commissioner’s complex forcing the law enforcers to fire teargas to disperse the students from the area.

Police’s barbaric move eventually culminated into running battles with the students, who had vowed never to leave the scene until they were told the deadline.

The students, who are fighting for K4500/ month for the last three months, retaliated by pelting stones at the police.

Kasungu Police Assistant Public Relations Officer (PRO) Barton Mathewe justified his officers’ conduct claiming they were forced to fire teargas because the students provoked the situation.

Meanwhile, reports indicate a civil servant working for Kasungu Agricultural Development Division (ADD) is in police custody for allegedly questioning the police officers’ conduct in firing teargas at unarmed students.

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