Mzuni students stage night demo over stationery allowances

Mzuzu University (Mzuni) final year students Monday night took the northern region city by surprise when they staged an unexpected demonstration over delayed processing of their stationery allowances – blocking the Karonga-Mzuzu M1 road in the process.

About eighty students went on rampage shouting, burning motor vehicle tyres and a tree at the University car park.

They also ransacked the Library where scores of students were studying in preparation for their ongoing mid-semester exams, forcing library staff to close before normal time.

Mzuni protestors  barricade road: Flashback
Mzuni protestors barricade road: Flashback

The irate student oblocked the main gate, making it impossible for the University’s Transport Officer and the Director of Finance and Investments (DFI), among others, to move out.

Mzuzu University Student Representative Council (MUSREC) president Nyozomo Gondwe was not immediately available for comment on the matter.

But sources told Nyasa Times that the bone of contention was the leaving out of about 50 students on the beneficiary list of the government given stationery allowance.

“About 380 final year students on government sponsorship applied for the stationery allowance as is the tradition, but the Ministry [of Education] did not approve some 52 students on condition that they are not needy students,” a source said.

The source added that the other problem was the delay in the processing of the whole issue.

“The applications were submitted to the Ministry on 28 February this year but up to now there had been no response,” added the source.

It is not yet known whether or not the 52 students will be given the K30, 000 stationery allowances for their act.

Meanwhile, Mzuni sensational tabloid, Mzuni Live, which is usually in support of such acts, condemned the demonstration through a statement.

“If we are [going] to be having demonstrations like the one we have had two hours ago, then we are afraid [that] we are moving backwards.

“Mzuni Live greatly condemns the act shown by some students within the [protesting] group. It was barbaric!” reads the statement in part.

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