Serious financial setbacks have rocked Mzuzu University (Mzuni), and fears are rife that the institution might face a shutdown as members of staff—both academic and non-academic—have threatened to down tools over delay in the payment of their February salaries.
Mzuni acting vice chancellor, Professor Fred Msiska, confirmed the problem citing government’s sluggishness in the disbursement of funds to the institution.
Msiska said the University gets a monthly allocation of K400 million from treasury of which K240 million goes towards payment of salaries.
He said the institution is expected to get the allocation by the fifteenth of every month.
“But there have been delays for the months of January and February,” admitted Msiska.
But Finance Minister, Goodall Gondwe, expressed surprise on the matter saying treasury had released money to Mzuni “last week.”
Meanwhile, Mzuni Academic Staff Union (MUASU) and Mzuni Non-Academic Staff Union (MUNASU) have threatened to down tools should their salary issues not be attended to.
In a letter to the Msiska, the two unions said they resolved, among others, “to withhold their services to the university until the salaries have been deposited.”
According to them, the move is “to enable the members to look for other means of survival somehwere.”
If the strike materialises, Mzuni is at risk of indifiniteclosure which, previously, has lasted up to five months.