Private practice lawyer George Kadzipatike has condemned Mzuzu University’s (Mzuni) decision to suspend 945 government-sponsored students without disciplinary hearing, arguing the decision is illegal .
With less than a week before commencement of end-of-year examinations, Mzuni has suspended all government-sponsored students in level two, three and four for protesting against pro rata system of disbursing upkeep allowances.
To frustrate the commotion, authorities on Tuesday resorted to suspending all government-sponsored students in the three levels.
According to Kadzipatike, the law requires that students go through a disciplinary process before being suspended. He said Mzuni’s decision is misguided and unlawful.
He said the regulations at Mzuni also require that a disciplinary committee be constituted to make a decision, but in the present case the committee did not sit.
Kadzipatike also wondered how the university could suspend all the 945 students without sieving those who were not involved in the riots. He said if all the students were to take part in the riots, the university would have been completely paralysed.
Mzuni Students Representative Council (Musrec) president Godknows Mwale said the students are confused with management’s decision to suspend them when they were preparing for examinations.
Mzuni vice-chancellor Robert Ridley said the solution to the riots was to shut the whole school, but authorities had to consider self-sponsored students.
“That was the only alternative because we thought of closing the whole school, but it would have been unfair to the self-sponsored students,” said Ridley.