Student leaders walk out of fees hike meeting

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There was drama at the Kamuzu College of Nursing in Lilongwe on Monday as the University of Malawi Students Union (UMSU) walked out of a meeting with University of Malawi (Unima) management and parents’ representatives.

The students claimed that Unima management secretly invited the parents from the cities which according to them was illegal.

After the walkout, the students released a statement in which they questioned criteria used to identify such parents saying the constitutionality surrounding their grouping is beyond doubt not within the legal framework of the Republic of Malawi.

“The question is how did a sea of thousands of parents across the nation turn into less than 15 parents without a formal selection criteria? That leaves a lot more to be desired. The university management, without the knowledge of UMSU and PSU invited about 5 students from the Polytechnic and had agreed with them to frustrate the actions of UMSU and PSU during the meeting.”

“UMSU asked the university management to ensure that the students in question are not part of the meeting but university management insisted that they be part of the meeting knowing that they were put in with an aim to advance their agenda,” reads part of the statement signed by UMSU General Secretary Dalitso Dulani.

The student leaders also claimed that Unima connived with three members of PSU to suppress the direction taken by UMSU and PSU on the matter.

“They even went against the PSU President in the meeting yet it is a plain story that the issue of timing of implementation of fee hike was sorted out in court,” the statement said.

After UMSU leadership noticed that Unima had set a good foundation to advance their agenda, they decided to withdraw from the meeting.

Meanwhile, UMSU has expressed hope that Polytechnic will be opened within three weeks from the date a memo from the state house was released.

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