Mzuzu University and Polytechnic students have asked President Peter Mutharika to step down as president for failing to resolve issues that have led to continued closure of the colleges.
Speaking at a joint press briefing organised by Mzuzu University Students Union (MUSREC), Polytechnic Students Union (PSU) and a non-governmental organisation called Youth and Society (YAS), the student representatives said what they want is to see Mutharika ending the challenges facing Polytechnic and Mzuzu University or else he must tell Malawians that he has failed to perform his duties.
“He is only our hope now and excusing himself from this incident will make us worry if the president who also happen to be the chancellor of these colleges is performing his duties.
“We can understand maybe if he can declare the office of the president vacant and saying that he must not be involved in these issues,” said the student representatives.
The students also expressed surprise over Mutharika’s recent remarks that he is not responsible for solving every problem universities in the country face saying the president already did that by reducing university fees months ago.
“If that is the case he would also have left the fees hike issue to be handled by the University Councils. He called University of Malawi Students Union (UMSU) to see the way forward on the matter and at the end he reduced fees by K50,000. This is a sign that Mutharika being a chancellor is the only man to solve this issue,” the students said.
The Polytechnic which is a constituent college of University of Malawi failed to open in October after students and management differed on the right time to implement a new fees structure, the issue is currently in court. Mzuzu University was closed this month following a strike by members of staff who are demanding a salary increase.