By Feston Malekezo:
Mzuzu University (Mzuni) students have sought their Chancellor, President Peter Mutharika’s intervention over what they describe as maladministration at the institution which does not have a Vice Chancellor.
The position fell vacant following the withdrawal of the services of Robert Ridley who was an acting Vice Chancellor for Mzuni until last year.
The students, speaking at a press briefing they organised Monday at Mzuni campus, said absence of the Vice Chancellor has created deficiencies such as delays in disbursing salaries to lecturers and support staff.
“We have tried to engage relevant authorities on the matter but nothing has worked. The delayed salaries for the lecturers always affect us. It is a threat to our education. A month ago, the lecturers were on a go-slow due to the perpetual salary delays. This could have been averted if the school had a Vice Chancellor,” Mzuni Student Representative Council President, Louis Kapesa, said.
The students also complained over the absence of a library at the college, saying the makeshift facility they use accommodates 400 out of the institution’s 6,000 students.
Vice Chancellor and Registrar positions are being held by Fred Msiska and James Kwilimbe respectively on an interim basis.
“The library has only 60 desktops which are not enough looking at the number of the students. In the end, there is always congestion in the library. We are temporarily using what used to be a hall as the library we had was gutted down by fire,” Kapesa said.
The students also complained that they use rented sports facilities and graduation ceremonies delay.
Some students want to hold vigils today in a bid to force management to work on the delays in holding graduation ceremonies.
Presidential spokesperson, Mgeme Kalilani, was not readily available for a comment as we went to press.
The students, who have threatened to take an unspecified action, said they expect Mutharika to respond to their woes before the school reopens on April 15.
Kwilimbe said they are waiting for Mutharika’s decision on the issue of Vice Chancellor, saying the institution made all recommendations.
Kwilimbe said the college’s management is functioning properly.
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