University of Malawi students are camping outside parliament, that is the message the executive of the students body have put across.

According to a memo from the students’ body, UMSU, signed by the body President – Steve Kumvenji – the students are calling on all students, parents, guardians, members of the civil society and all concerned citizens to join them in the vigils that will be staged at the Parliament while the August house meeting is in session.

The memo indicates that the vigils will start from October 23 and the procession is expected to start from Kamuzu College of Nursing, Lilongwe Campus.

The students are protesting the indefinite closure of their constituent Colleges following a standoff between the staff at the colleges and their employer, University Council, over the issue of salary hikes.

Meanwhile, University Council has indicated that it is not opening the Colleges as there is a strike by the staff of the Colleges.

“We cannot open the colleges for there will not be any education going on; we will open them once the strike is over,” University registrar, Benedicto Wokomaatani Malunga, has been quoted as saying.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Education indicated that it has no money to meet the demands of the staff of the University and advised them to go back to class but its calls were rebuffed. It was further reported in the media that the Ministry indicated that the money the lecturers and the support staff need can only be ready in January.

Parliament starts its meeting this Monday where the Capitol Hill looting is expected to take centre stage. However, the students expect to push through their agenda so as to have the University issue tabled at the same sitting.

 

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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