LUANAR students demonstrate over tuition fee hike

Lilongwe University of Natural Resources (LUANAR) blocked roads on Monday and Tuesday protesting against the institution’s decision to hike fees.

The university has raised the tuition fees from K362,000 to K420,000 for generic and K783,000 to K890,000 for mature students. The hike is effective November, 2019.

Demonstrations started on Monday when concerned students from the main campus at Bunda burned tyres on the road to Mitundu Trading Centre. Motorists were forced to use a road that passes through the LUANAR Campus where students demanded money from drivers.

On Monday evening, police managed to disperse the angry students after firing teargas at the protesters.

Related protests continued this morning when students from LUANAR City campus blocked the M1 road.

The students also disrupted prayers at Msamba Catholic Church where congregants gather every morning to pray.

Police also fired teargas at the university students. No injuries or damages were reported.

LUANAR Registrar Philip Kaonda told the local media that plans to hike the fees started in 2015 and the college management consulted the LUANAR students union.

He said: “All along, we have been talking with the students union, but we have just seen today this other group calling itself concerned students which is saying they don’t trust their leaders; hence, starting demonstrations,” he said.

Meanwhile, police have arrested 12 students who were involved in the protests on Monday.