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Fire guts down ‘varsity campus

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A rapid fire on Wednesday gutted down a computer laboratory and storerooms at University of Livingstonia (Unilia) Ekwendeni campus destroying property, whose value is yet to be established.

Campus Registrar, Reverend Binnie Mwakasungula, said in an interview that the fire started from an electricity switch board in the matron’s office and spread to the storerooms before spreading further to the computer laboratory.

Mwakasungula said over 40 computers which were donated by University of Livingstonia United States of America (USA) Foundation, have been destroyed as the students were trying to rescue some of the property.

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He also said mattresses, books, and other office equipment have been destroyed.

“We are stuck; unfortunately we did not insure our property. Internet is now down. Students cannot access information through internet. That means our operations and learning have been affected.

“It is an electrical fault which started from the switchboard, but we still need to verify. However, classes will continue with the limited resources. We know it will be a challenge to both students and lecturers but we cannot do otherwise, unless the board decides otherwise,” Mwakasungula said.

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The Daily Times’ crew arrived at the campus and found students singing songs praising the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) Livingstonia Synod for establishing the campus at Ekwendeni Church Station. This was few minutes after they stoned fires fighters from Mzuzu City Council who drove almost 15 kilometres from the city to Ekwendeni Trading Centre to put out the fire.

President of the Unilia’s students union, Lasson Kamanga, avoided responding, why the students stoned the fire fighters as he only concentrated on the impact of the accident on their education.

Kamanga said the university is hugely affected arguing that the remaining resources are inadequate for tertiary education.

Both Police and the university said they are yet to value the damages to release a report.

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