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Mzuzu University stingy with info on library fire

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There is secrecy about the fire that gutted Mzuzu University library in the early hours of Friday as vice chancellor Robert Ridley asked for the exit of the media from a meeting the college management had with Minister of Education, Science and Technology on Saturday morning.

The media were invited by the Ministry of Information, Tourism and Civic Education and after the introductions, Ridley asked the media to excuse the meeting and a debate ensued over the development. It took Minister of Education Emmanuel Fabiano to end the debate by saying the media were supposed to be part of the meeting because the college was a public institution and the fire was a concern to everybody.

Ridley then said only general issues would be discussed and not specifics.

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Asked to explain the specifics, Ridley said he some of the issues included the specific roles to be done by specific people and institutions.

“We will be just sharing different people’s perspectives and what they have done and what has happened. Some of that information we have to collect it before passing it,” said Ridley.

Asked what the college had done with African Development Bank(AfDB) funds meant to rewire the library and other structures in 2013, Ridley said the funds were meant for expansion of science and technology and the library.

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He also disclosed that over the past three months, the college received K100 million worth of books which have been burnt.

He also refused to comment on the recommendation that the AfDB project recommended that one of the issues to be done was rewiring of the library.

Ridley said an estimated K500 million has been lost in the destroyed books.

In his remarks, Fabiano said government would ensure that classes are not interrupted in the next semester. He said government would be waiting for an assessment report from the college to see how it would intervene.

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