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45 000 books burnt in Mzuni University blaze

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Fire has gutted down Mzuzu University library on Friday morning destroying 45 000 books, information nerve centre and furniture among others, rendering over 3 000 students helpless.

Mzuzu University vice chancellor, Robert Ridley, said yesterday management was still assessing the damage caused by the fire.

He also said they were yet to decide on whether to accomodate Open Distance Learning (ODL) students who are scheduled to start classes in January next year.

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“All the 45 000 books are burnt. We are still assessing the damage as the incident has just happened. The fire started around 3 am this morning. We have to decide whether the ODL students should come. We will be asking stakeholders to help us rebuild the library,” said Ridley.

Asked whether the university would open the next semester, Ridley said “that is one of the things we have to think about very seriously.”

He said rebuilding the library is a long term solution but the college was working on how to manage the situation on short term.

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Student Union president, Wazamazama Katatu, said the fire could have been controlled if students and other employees were trained in fire fighting techniques because some students detected it earlier.

Katatu described the damaged library as a big loss to the university because “when we talk of a university, we simply mean the library.”

“It has affected some students who are finishing examinations today (Friday). I do not know what will happen when we open next year?”

Katatu suggested that students should be equipped with fire fighting techniques.

He blamed the Mzuzu Fire Brigade for failing to put out the fire claiming they first went to the scene without water.

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