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Unima closed, court calls for inter partes hearing

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High Court Judge Patrick Chirwa has called for an inter partes hearing in a matter where University of Malawi (Unima) students are seeking an injunction against the closure of the university.

The inter partes hearing is scheduled for 9am Friday, which means the university will remain closed.

Led by the Students Representative Council (SRC) and their own legal team, the students sought for an injunction at the High Court sitting in Zomba.

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However, the court asked the SRC and University Council representatives to appear before it on November 4.

At 4am Wednesday, Unima closed its campus following a three-day vigil students have been holding.

In a statement, Unima acting Registrar Mary Wasiri ordered all students residing on campus to vacate the site by midday on the same day.

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“…..knowing that the vigils posed a security threat to both the university community and the general public, management has resolved to temporarily close the university with immediate effect,” a statement, which Unima Communications Officer, Assistant Registrar Alfred Banda, authenticated, reads.

The calendar they are protesting against was adopted in April 2022 to accommodate two first-year cohorts, one selected in 2021 (a total of 1,689) and another one of students selected in 2022.

Following the development, students have been holding vigils since Friday, a development that forced Unima staff out of work.

Unima SRC President Humble Bondo told The Daily Times on Tuesday that the University Council told them to stop the vigils or go back home.

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