There are divisions among civil society organisations (CSOs) members regarding President Peter Mutharika’s directive to have University of Malawi (Unima) fees reduced by K50 000 ($68).
Mutharika met Unima Students union following fees hike protests and closure of Chancellor College. It was later directed that the revised fees be reduced by K50 000 and have Chancellor College opened.
Some CSOs, including Youth and Society (YAS), which led the protests against the fees hike, say the K50 000 reduction is a mockery. On the other hand, Civil Society Platform for Constructive Dialogue (CSPCD) and others have commended Mutharika for the reduction.
In a statement issued on Monday signed by executive director Charles Kajoloweka, YAS protests the margin of fees reduction, saying it is too narrow to make impact.
In the statement, YAS says it wants maximum fees set at K300 000 across the Unima colleges.
“We believe that this reduction will not be enough to avert the challenges we anticipated to result from the decision to hike fees,” reads the statement.
On the other hand, a CSPCD statement issued on Saturday, signed by chairperson Maxwell Matewere, commends Mutharika and the Unima Students Union (Umsu) for holding talks on the matter.
The statement also commends the order to re-open Chancellor College.
“We, the Civil Society Platform for Constructive Dialogue, would like to congratulate both the State President His Excellency Prof. Peter Mutharika and Umsu for amicably reaching a compromise on the Unima fee hike, which eventually brings to an end unwarranted saga on the same,” reads the statement.
Presidential spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani said those protesting the reduction should engage University Council.