Irate students at Mangochi Secondary School went on the rampage on Saturday evening and set ablaze their dining hall and storeroom to protest against poor diet.
The school has since suspended 162 boys pending investigations into the damage. The girls did not take part; hence, will continue with classes.
In an interview yesterday, the school deputy head teacher Amina Morris Gama confirmed the incident, saying the estimated value of the damage was K14.5 million.
She said: “Of the suspended students, 10 were handed over to police for questioning. They are suspected to have masterminded the riot.”
During the riot, the students also said they were not happy with the school fees increase and they alleged that some funds meant to improve the school infrastructure were mismanaged.
In a separate inter view, Mangochi Pol ice Station spokesperson Roderick Maida also confirmed the incident.
Witnesses said the students went on the rampage around 8pm and chanted songs against the school authorities for allegedly mistreating them in terms of poor diet.
“They chanted tatopa ndikudya nyemba tsiku ndi tsiku. Tikufuna tidzidyanso nyama chifukwa pa mndandanda wa madyedwe pali nyama [We are fed up with having beans daily. We want meat as prescribed on the menu],” said the witness.
Some community members rushed to the scene and helped put out the fire.
The deputy head teacher said the suspended students are expected to pay for the damage by December 4 2020, and that they will only be readmitted when they return to school with their parent or guardian.
Mangochi Secondary School is a district co-education boarding secondary school owned by the Ministry of Education