Misunderstandings have clouded Bunda College now under the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar), as students are absconding classes due to uncertainty regarding the delinking process.
Last year, government through Parliament, delinked Bunda College of Agriculture from University of Malawi (Unima) and merged it with Natural Resources College (NRC) to form Luanar. The new university was scheduled to be operation by July 1 2012 when governmentâ€™s new financial year started.
However, days into the new arrangement, students say they feel cheated with the arrangement and seek an explanation about the transition process from their Chancellor, President Joyce Banda.
Reads part of the studentsâ€™ letter dated July 13 2012: â€œThe manner in which the whole transition period is being conducted is neither transparent nor democratic. Members from the University office came to bid farewell to members of staff at Bunda College and left students uninformed. We believe we are as important as all stakeholders involved, therefore we are supposed to be fully and seriously consulted, and also timely informed.
â€œWe, students of Bunda College, have a contract with Unima not Luanar and, therefore, any attempt to push us to Luanar is illegal and uncalled for. It is our strongest expectation that we will continue to be assessed under the Unima system.â€
In an interview on Monday, Bunda Students Union (BSU) president Hastings Nhlane said they have agreed to stage a sit-in until this issue is resolved and the collegeÂ principal has resigned in a vote of no confidence.
Bunda College principal Professor Moses Kwapata said there is no issue worth taking to the Chancellor of the college as issues surrounding the delinking of Bunda are straightforward.
â€œIt was announced at the onset that the current crop of students will get Unima certificates. We have even made this information available to them. We even told them we have no problem to take on board their wishes and it is surprising that the students have decided to stage a sit-in,â€ he said.
Kwapata said there is a group of about 200 disgruntled students out of the 2 000 making malicious statements about him.