Tear gas fired as Malawi university students riot: Poly shut down

University students and riot police clashed in Malawi’s commercial capital Blantyre on Wednesday following a protest demanding allowances and loans.

Tear gas at Poly

Tear gas at Poly

Witnesses of the Poly fracas

Witnesses of the Poly fracas

Students at Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi are demanding allowances and students loans but  the cash-strapped  government has not paid them .

As the students went into the streets to stage protests, singing anti- government songs, police were deployed to break the demonstrations.

Police also entered the campus of the University and fired tear gas  while chasing students.

Witnesses said some students who tried to leave the gas-filled rooms with their hands up had police chasing them back inside, sometimes beating them.

The Malawi Twitter feed said teargas was also thrown inside Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital campus.

One of the demonstrating students told Nyasa Times she was angry that allowances and student loans have not been paid by government.

The student said they cannot survive at the campus without the allowance, saying not all of them come from well doing families.

“If we survive here it’s because of that student allowance that we get. Now they are they are telling us that to be registered they will deduct our allowance, how do they want us to live? We need to pay rent where we stay because not everyone stays on campus, we also need to buy our every day meals but we have no money we depend on the allowance.”cs

She said Police should be concerned with the rise in robbery attacks, not protesting students.

According to secretary general for Polytechnic Students Union (PSU, Rogers Nyirongo, the demonstration was a reaction to government’s failure to provide them with fees loan and allowances.

“No one wanted to demonstrate but the students are angry with the response that the administration has given us,” he said.

Students closed part of Masauko Chipembere Highway at Ginnery Corner causing traffic chaos.

Meanwhile, Poly has been shut down following the fracas.

All students have been told to vacate the campus by Thursday 8am.

Polytechnic management says the closure is ‘until further notice’.

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Mbava Management
Guest
UNIMA loans are biased; they are only given to those who are from Government sec schools not from the private or night sec schools. This stipend is not a loan but money to be used for meals and accommodation. It’s really sad to learn that some stupid management stuff is salivating for this very little food and accommodation allowance. Just imagine k50000 and someone wants to deduct k13500 to leave the student with k36500 for food and accommodation, what a fucking shit. That’s why we usually see these rascals flocking to QECH chiimilire for their cheap lunch and dinner. UMSU… Read more »
ChangeOur MindSet
Guest
There are many forms of how management communicates to its system. If afraid of unknown grape vine is possibly the best method rather than just remaining docile and strike while the targeted group is off guard. UNIMA is well known for it’s expertise in drilling wannabie managers and they even boast to the extent of inviting illiterate Traditional leaders to go and attend to their private lectures on the subject matter. Surprisingly on the ground its managements do the opposite- especially Poly. It is easy to point fingers at the students because they are always considered as the most unruly… Read more »
bob
Guest

The Poly has unruly students who do not deserve sympathy. They should be heavily beaten up by the Police to learn a lesson on how to behave in society.

Nsanje Basi
Guest
Police fired teargas into QECH campus, but when we went to look for the used teargas canisters the same day before clearing of the ground the following day there was none. Did they dissolve and got absorbed? Cash strap government- come on guys was the budget passed with no single penny given to Poly? APM iwe Mulungu akukuona- what wrong has the guy done to Poly students? Of course he is the chancellor, but does UNIMA staff respect him? These guys are just very stubborn and it’s very hard for the ruling party and even the president to interfere with… Read more »
Mbuyankhoma
Guest

Total irresponsible! Why blocking the roads? After all, these loans are never repaid. Thus why UNIMA is rated# 77 amongst reputable universities on earth. Trash! How can you secure jobs with this outrageous manners?

Peggy
Guest

You could have solved this mess in a better way coz now your lectures will be busy making money through consultancies while you sit idle at home

mbuya
Guest

nice tipume. pamene yapa mbuli ndani? kkkkk pa poly

NYAPHAVI
Guest

Ma students a pa poly musasiyile pomwepo mukanawatibulanso ma lecturewo ndi omwe akupangisa kuti musalandile ma allowance anu .tsono akuganiza kuti muzikadya kuti ?

kamfana
Guest
FISI NO 86, IWE NDIWDI FISI. MUNTHU SANGAYANKHULE MOMWE WANENERAMO. UZIFUNSE NDITHU. Striking for Allowances & Loans these days,is just being IGNORANT.WHY? Bcoz ur fellowa at MZUNI did the same just last year.The same CONSEQUENCE followed. And to make things WORSE, SOME WERE SUGGESTING THAT ALLOWANCES & LOANS MUST IMMEDIATELY BE ABOLISHED AT UNIVERSITIES LIKE WHAT OUR NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES ARE DOING.TWO MAIN REASONS WERE GIVEN.{1} Strikes.{2} Students DO NOT REPAY THE MONEY when they finish.And MIND U POLY STUDENTS; that this issue was just PUT ASIDE FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION.THAT IS WHY NOW U SEE THAT NEWLY FORMED BODY WHICH WILL… Read more »
zinenani
Guest

Ana woyerekedwa aboma amakusiirirani Anzanu akulimbikira maphunziro inu mademo. Muzawelukira mademo womwewo.

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