6 August 2016 Last updated at: 2:57 AM
Unima students’ leaders face the boot
University of Malawi (Unima) students are planning to oust the leadership of the University of Malawi Students Union (UMSU) for failing to win the ‘fees must fall’ battle.
The development comes at a time the leaders agreed to a K50,000 slash on the hike fees for generic students in University of Malawi (Unima) colleges as suggested in a meeting with President Peter Mutharika on Thursday.
The three hour meeting saw Mutharika and the students union leadership agreeing that generic students are to be paying K350,000 while mature students at College of Medicine (COM) have to pay K1 million from K1.4 million with their colleagues in the health sector Kamuzu College of Nursing paying K700,000.
Students from Chancellor College (Chanco) and Malawi Polytechnic will be paying K600,000 from K900,000 and K950,000 respectively.
Reacting on the slash, one Polytechnic student Ashley Nkhukuzalira could not hide his anger saying that the leaders have betrayed needy students.
“How could they open up with a K320, 000 offer? Are these the representatives we sent? How could our dear UMSU President say it was a fair deal? Was he getting interviewed with a sniper on his forehead? I wondered how our representatives could accept a meagre K50, 000 decrement just like that. Are they not our representatives? It’s not a crime to finish a meeting inconclusively.
“They chose not to consult us when going but the least they could have done is consult us afterwards. I cry for my Chanco, it has wasted so much energy, so much time, so much teargas, Chanco was left bruised and vacated by the same fight. Chanco has lost more than K50, 000 in this per individual. I pity you my representative, Chanco is kind but it will take years to forgive you UMSU,” wrote Nkhukuzalira on his Facebook account.
The development has since led to calls for the ousting of the student leaders who are said to have failed to represent the students on the controversial fees hike matter.
Confirming to Malawi24, UMSU vice president Godfrey Pumbwa said the slash has angered the students.
“The students say that we should be out of office. They say we have failed them but to be honest with you, UMSU has tirelessly worked on this issue for about 11 weeks now. We have put our own money, effort, time and we have sacrificed a lot. We worked so hard. But there are not all that appreciate and acknowledge other people’s efforts,” said Pumbwa.
Meanwhile, government officials have applauded the president for cutting the fees while the civil society have pleaded with the Malawi leader to further slash the fees.