There was chaos at Mzuzu University (Mzuni) yesterday as students and members of staff held protests to force management address various issues affecting them.
The students, who engaged in running battles with police after blocking the M1, are protesting management’s decision to bar students that have fees balances from accessing examination results and deny needy students from registering without paying school fees.
They have also been angered by management’s decision to administer supplementary examinations without giving them ample time to prepare after paying fees balances.
The member of staff, on the other hand, are demanding their allowances for teaching at the open distance learning campus.
During the strike, students and members of staff blocked access to various facilities at the school, including the library.
Police fired tear gas into the university campus and surrounding residential areas to end the protests.
The law enforcers further fired tear gas on the road to Mzuzu Central Hospital to disperse students who had blocked the M1 close to a filling station.
Speaking in an interview, Mzuni Students Representative Council (Musrec) deputy speaker Chuck Mwale confirmed both strikes for students and staff.
He said the students want management to allow them access to examination results, allow needy students to register and also let students who fail to meet half of the fees to register.
Mwale said Musrec wants the school to put in place a system that would allow easy registration and access to results.
He said: “Students are also protesting for not extending time for students to write supplementary exams since some students have not accessed their results.”
Mwale condemned the police for firing tear gas at the students and residential area.
He claimed that two students were injured in the process. One was treated at Mzuzu Central Hospital while the other was treated at the university clinic.
Mwale added that the police were also on a door-to-door exercise, arresting students.
Northern Region Police deputy spokesperson Maurice Chapola claimed the wind blew the tear gas into residential areas and Mzuzu Central Hospital road. He said police did not target such areas.
He also claimed that no arrests and injuries were recorded in the fracas but the police were still in control to ensure that the public is not affected.
Mzuni acting registrar James Kwilimbe was not available for comment as he was engaged in a meeting.