The Malawi University of Science and Technology (
MUST was shut down “due to scarcity of water on campus” according to University registrar Dr Tarcisius Nampota.
Nampota said the water problem is a result of the breakdown of the water pumps that supply the campus in Thyolo.
“Management has resolved to close the campus temporarily,” Nampota said.
Students were told to leave the campus on Monday and that management will communicate the date when the nuiversity shall resume.
Elsewhere, Mzuzu University has been shut down until further notice following a directive by management as there is a withdraw of labour by academic dons and support staff.
The management ordered on Monday that the institution be closed and ordered the students to leave.
Members of Mzuzu University Academic Staff Union (Muasu) and Mzuni Non-academic Staff Trade Union (Munastu) started the strike three weeks ago after the Industrial Court vacated the injunction obtained by the University management restraining the staff on embarking on the strike.
Munastu president Gruno Muyola said they will only resume work if the university meets their demand
“In view of these developments and noting that sanitation and health related services on campus will continye to be negatively affected, Council has requested that all students vacate the campus by 5pm on Tuesday November 8th 2016, until further notice,” a memorandum issued by University Registrat Jedegwa reads.
Mzuni Student Union President Wazamazama Katatu said the closure will affect the students greatly considering that they were preparing for examinations.
Katatu also said the closure will affect the academic calendar for the institution.
Mzuni staff salaries have not been increased in two years, and they are demanding a 35 percent increment. Muasu and Munastu members first wrote the university’s authorities on August 2 2016 stating that they would go on a sit-in on August 23 2016 if management failed to raise their salaries.
On August 5, the university’s administration responded with a recommendation that both parties follow the law and work together to appoint a broker in line with Section 44 (2) of the Labour Relations Act.
However, the reconciliatory efforts collapsed, forcing the unions to issue a fresh notice on October 6, that they would withdraw labour on October 14.
Mzuni management responded by referring the dispute to the IRC for guidance, arguing that the action by the unions of giving notice to withdraw labour was not compliant with Section 46 as read with Section 44 of the Labour Relations Act (1996).
But Muasu and Munastu, through lawyer Christon Ghambi, asked the court to consider the respondents’ members’ salaries, which have not been adjusted for two years.
Deputy chairperson of the IRC in Mzuzu, Austin Msowoya, ruled that the two staff unions are at liberty to proceed with their withdrawal of labour.
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