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Must, Mzuni closed

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The education sector continues to be rocked in controversy with two institutions, namely Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must) and Mzuzu University (Mzuni), on Monday closing indefinitely

Monday morning, students of Must held a demonstration against the persistent water problem at the university. According to President of Must’s students union, Chimwemwe Myabah, the students resolved to hold the demos to press the university’s admininstration to address the water problem.

“We have had water problems for some time. It is not like the water problem has just started. But this week it was completely dry for about three days. We also had visitors from other schools so the problem became unbearable.

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“We have been having round-table discussions with the administration about the problem but it has not been solved. We decided to voice our grievance today [Monday] because we have concerns about hygiene as you know all the toilets we use need water. Learning is difficult in that situation,” Myabah said.

After the protests, the university’s administration issued a statement announcing the indefinite closure of the school.

“Due to the scarcity of water on campus as a result of the breakdown of water pumps that supply the campus with water, management has resolved to close the campus temporarily,” the statement signed by Must Registrar Tarsizius Nampota reads.

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Elsewhere, Mzuzu University Council has shut down the institution and ordered the students to leave campus by today morning following the current lecturers and support staff sit-in.

The university has also delayed its 18th Congregation which was slated for this month.

In a statement released yesterday, the University Council has been forced to ask the students to get out of campus because of poor hygiene at the institution.

Mzuzu University Academic Staff Union (Muasu) and Mzuzu University Non-Academic Staff Trade Union (Munastu) are demanding salary increment by 35 percent, and have in the last three weeks been taging a sit-in.

However, the council is not bowing to their demand, arguing the institution is facing financial constraints.

“The 18th Congregation of Mzuzu University will be delayed until further notice due to the continued withdrawal of labour by the University’s academic and non-academic staff unions over salaries. This leaves council with no choice but to indefinitely delay the graduation.

“The council regrets the inconvenience caused by this situation, including the disruption of the University Academic Calendar for 4,000 students presently enrolled at the University, and the impact on 800 graduates due to be awarded their certificates and degrees at this year’s Congregation,” reads the statement.

The statement then discloses the council will communicate the dates for class commencement and graduation later.

Speaking in an interview on Monday Mzuni Communications and Marketing Manager Chigomegzo Gondwe Chokani said 25 percent of students, especially those residing off campus already left the school’s premises.

However, President of Mzuni Students Union Wazamazama Katatu said the closure will affect many students who were ready for-end-of semester examinations.

Recently, University’s Workers Union President Burnet Musopole told The Daily Times that the council did not suggest any percentage against the proposed 35 percent, the development which is keeping their fingers across.

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