Police on 24-hour guard of Malawi President’s school

Malawi President Joyce Banda has ordered the police to provide 24-hour security to her education institution, Joyce Banda Foundation, Nyasa Times understands.

The President reportedly wants to safeguard her property as well as life of students, teachers and other workers in view of rumours making rounds that supporters of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) were planning to descend on it.

DPP supporters have been protesting in most parts of the Southern Region against the arrest on Monday this week of their top party leaders including the acting President Peter Mutharika following a Commission of Inquiry report which exposes a plot by them to circumvent constitutional order in succession of then Vice President Joyce Banda after the death of president Bingu wa Mutharika.

Last month hundreds of angry pupils from some surrounding government schools raided the campus pelting stones at the premises and disrupting classes in the process in protest against their teachers’ boycott of classes.

Police guarding Joyce Banda Foundation in Blantyre
Police guarding Joyce Banda Foundation in Blantyre

The public teachers were taking part in a nationwide civil servants strike for pay hike, a development that angered the pupils who demanded that students at JBF must also stop learning.

Information sourced by Nyasa Times indicates that the police have responded to the president directive by providing six officers daily to guard her property.

A source at Southern Region Police Headquarters confided in our reporter that police started guarding the institution on Tuesday.

“There are three officers providing security during the day and three others for night shift,” he said, adding that he was not sure how long their services will be withdrawn.

She said Joyce Banda Foundation was not paying anything “because the security is being provided to the state president’s property despite the school being her private assets.”

And on Wednesday afternoon, our reporter indeed found three armed-to-teeth camouflaged police officers at the main entrance of the facility situated on the foot of Soche Mountain at Chimwankhunda Dam in Blantyre.

Last month, probably out of frustration, President Banda threatened to close down the school as a measure to protect the learners from possible attacks by political hoodlums.

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