St John Baptist University closed following unrest

Students at the St. John the Baptist University in Malawi’s southern district of Mangochi were told to leave the campus by 7am Friday following unrest at the institution.

The student were holding demonstrations demanding  university’s administration to address their grievances contained in their petition .

In the petition signed by president of the students union and his vice, the students are demanding an explanation from the administration on what they call “the unconditional withdrawal of “effective lecturers like Mr. Mabvuto Mafuta” and on the issue of assigning lecturers subjects they are not competent to teach.

“The university must explain why there is no progress in Engineering Mathematics where students are still working on UNIT1. Some lecturers are insulting students in class like Mr. Fernando who usually calls students “BULL SHIT” and his racist remarks saying ‘Africans don’t know anything,” reads part of the petition which Nyasa Timeshas in possession.

Students hold demo

In the petition, the students say as Malawian students, they believe in dialogue as only way to solve problems.

“Hence we are requesting the administration to address us on the matters stated above within two working days otherwise we will stage a mass demonstration to force the administration to work on these issues,” reads the petition.

Management on Tuesday suspended 22 day scholars for questioning a decision not to allow them into the university library after 7pm.

Meanwhile the students have obtained an injunction restraining the university’s authorities from suspending 22 fellow students who were expelled after the students presented the petition.

One of the students says the 22 were just been suspended as a measure to instill fear among the students.

Students that have been served from the suspension include Steve Mchele Banda and Linley Msiska who are pursuing Bachelor of Business Administration, Chipofya Ziwolire a Bachelor of Commerce student and Thokozire Jane Musonzo who is studying Bachelor of Social Work.

The university management in a notice pasted on the university notice board at around 3pm on Thursday  said: “In view of unrest created by a section of first year bachelor degree students, the administration has decided to postpone the classes of bachelor degree course indefinitely until further notice.”

“This action has been to protect the life and property of innocent students and the university. All bachelor degree students are advised to vacate the campus before 7 hours of Friday, October 5 2012. If anyone is found not to abide by the above [order, they] will be dealt with seriously.”

St. John the Baptist University in Mangochi was established in 2010 under the supervision of the Catholic Development Commission of Malawi-education division.

St John Baptist University Students

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