Fourth year students at the Polytechnic have protested against vigils that are being planned by some leaders of the University of Malawi Students Union, saying the demonstrations should not affect writing of their exams.This adds to the divisions that have emerged among students in the University of Malawi over the vigils which many view as a pretext sponsored by politicians to bring chaos in Malawi.
The fourth year students at Poly have petitioned the University Registrar asking for protection, saying they might be victimized following the position which they have taken of not participating on the demos.
“We write to your office to seek indemnity from the consequences that might befall, should students demonstrate in retaliation to the fees hike. We would like to express our dissatisfaction in the manner in which UMSU and PSU intend on handling things by means of vigils at a crucial time such as this,” Reads the petition in part to the Principal.
Meanwhile, religious bodies, NGOs, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have advised the students to withhold the vigils and that they should engage Government on the matter.
Briefing members of the public and the students in general UMSU leadership said UMSU is not a political party.
The statement was written as one way of trying to reclaim their lost glory which has vanished from their hands due to their libido for quick cash.
In the statement UMSU briefed members that college of Medicine consensus was to engage the Parliamentary Committee on education and the Ministry but surprisingly the vigil is going ahead before the consensus is fulfilled.
“We resolved that, should above round table discussions fail, council resolved to hold a press briefing and to be followed by petition. UMSU council indeed did as planned, but when we meet UNIMA top leadership there were doggy and accused us of basing our arguments on rumors. UMSU council was not convinced hence we thought of meeting parliamentary committee on education which they denied as audience claiming that they were busy whist they were meeting UNIMA leaders. When we tried to meet Minister of Education Science and Technology, they also gave us the same response, hence council went on as planned to hold press briefing and petitioning the minister.” reads UMSU leadership communication in part.
Nevertheless, Chanco Students, who conducted a mega General Assembly, are ready to independently roll out the massive vigils shall other ‘coward’ sister colleges choose to pull out.