Poly students riot over 5 week lecturers’ strike


Students of the University of Malawi’s Polytechnic rioted on Monday after being frustrated by a five week strike by their lecturers.

The college’s lecturers have been boycotting work demanding a 113 percent salary increment.

The students blocked the Chipembere Highway with stones as a way of showing their frustrations.

Police threw teargas canisters to disperse the students. No arrests have been made.

One police officer is reported to have been seriously injured after the students pounced on him.

The students resolved to demonstrate after noting that they had not been learning for almost five weeks now, a development which is posing a threat to the university calendar.

Polytechnic students’ union president Wakisa Simkonda told the media that they made the decision after noting that the issues are not being resolved amicably.

“We have not been learning for five months that’s too much. All this time we have been patiently engaging with the concerned parties to resolve their issues, but it seems they are not agreeing on a thing. So our patience is running out that’s why we decided to demonstrate to catch their attention,” said Simkonda.

Last week, the students also convened a meeting where they urged all concerned parties including the University council and the government to treat the matter with the urgency it deserves.

Meanwhile, the support staff of the University of Malawi is also on strike demanding a 75 percent salary increase.

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