Mzuni lecturers strike, demand academic and job security

It seems the only time Mzuzu University (Mzuni) courts favourable publicity is when its Chancellor is conferring degrees to its congregation. Or when, for instance, DPP Regional Governor for the north Frank Mwenifumbo organises a binge party on social weekend for the students, like what he did last week.

Otherwise it never rains but pours for this learning institution. Saddled with an operational deficit of more than MK900 million in debt to various food suppliers and a burgeoning student population, Mzuzu University (Mzuni), is technically ‘bankrupt’.

Last week Mzuni ground to a halt after students rioted over unpaid tuition and stationery allowances.

One of its minibuses is at the Mzuzu High Court because the institution is failing to raise over MK1,000,000 to pay one of its former workers.

The battle between acting vice Chancellor Doctor Overton Msiska and the students seems abated after the latter accused Msiska of maladministration.

Now it’s the turn of the Mzuni lecturers who have downed tools demanding ‘Academic security’ following the torching of an office of the Head of Chemistry, Lewis Gulula.

The lecturers said they will only return to class if they get written guarantees of safety.

According to sources, the only crime Gulula committed is to set tough Chemistry examinations that saw five fourth year students flunking even supplementary ones.

Sources said Mzuni Students Union wrote management asking for consideration to have the five reinstated despite their mediocre performance arguing that it was unfair to expel the five students because they had already finished their studies.

“But while management was looking into their concerns, the office was burnt,” said one of the students.

From lecturers to Mzuni administration staff, nobody has accepted to speak on record for fear of reprisals.

The academic dons  are also demanding job security because the irate ‘dull’ students want Gulula fired.

Gulula, according to sources, has become a scapegoat to regime thugs, who burnt his office because he flunked five fourth year students who have been consequently weeded.

Sources told NyasaTimes that the five students are products of the infamous quota system of education, President Bingu wa Mutharika’s brain child.

“The students have been struggling to stand the academic heat and it’s not the fault of the Lecturers. Others have passed the same exams. So what’s wrong with them?” a lecturer told NyasaTimes.

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