Mzuni student leader arrested: ‘He nearly killed fellow student’

Mzuzu University Student Representative Council (MUSREC) president Abel Phompho has been arrested by the Police for clobbering a fellow student to unconsciousness over students unions’ office keys.

Phompho was on the run the whole of Wednesday evening and was arrested in the wee hours of Thursday near Luwinga Township.

Phompho, who is serving a six-week suspension as president of  MUSREC for  allegedly plundering students’ union coffers, beat up Richard Kayenda – student union speaker – with a knobkerrie and escaped, leaving him in a pool of his own blood.

“He wanted to get keys to the student union office but the speaker [Kayenda] could not let him enter because he is on suspension.

Richard Kayenda - Battling for life at Mzuzu Central Hospital
Richard Kayenda – Battling for life at Mzuzu Central Hospital
Abel Phompho - In Police custody
Abel Phompho – In Police custody

“He got furious and hit him hard on his right eye with a knobkerrie, punched him in the stomach leaving helpless,” Steve Chasowa, ex-MUSREC Treasurer told Nyasa Times.

Kayenda, a fourth year Bachelor of Arts student, couldn’t be treated at the university’s clinic and was rushed to Mzuzu Central Hospital where he is currently battling for life.

According to Chasowa, Phompho wanted to access a certain document from the University of Malawi Student Union (UMSU) leader which would act as a defense tool for one of the battalion of financial cases he has been implicated in, sent through the MUSREC office.

 Nyasa Times investigations indicate that Phompho swindled K69 000 of Mzuni administration money and K21 000 of student union money in allowances for a meeting he never attended.

“He failed to explain because he has no documents to show that he attended any meeting,” said one of the student union leaders who belonged to the Phompho camp which has since been dissolved prior to elections to be held next week.

Phompho’s action caused strife at the institution forcing students to break into his room and burning everything inside it including his laptop, school papers, clothes and home theatre.

Even the university’s registrar Vyson Jedegwa who vowed to personally get Phompho arrested could not contain the situation.

 Nyasa Times learnt that lately, Phompho – also a final year student with only two months to complete his education in December – has been moving around with a knobkerrie threatening to silence anyone who would ruffle feathers about his maladministration.

On Wednesday Phompho – who is also allegedly a drug addict – said that he would kill someone with his weapon, a student told our reporter.

It is illegal to keep a lethal weapon at Mzuzu University, let alone beat up a fellow student, according to the university’s student handbook.

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