Mzuzu Government Secondary School has suspended 34 students suspected to have taken part in vandalising the school’s property.
Students at the school went on the rampage on Friday after management provided rice to the girls.
This angered the boys, who argued that the girls did not deserve the rice because they did not take part in a hunger strike which was staged after management failed to provide meat for last Thursday evening’s meal.
In an interview yesterday, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology spokesperson Manfred Ndovi said the ministry is waiting for a comprehensive report from the division office to determine whether some students will be expelled.
“The students are on a six-week suspension, pending investigations,” he said.
Ndovi said the students damaged an administration block, a biology and physical science laboratory and a geography storeroom.
Education Division Manager (North) Temwa Msiska said the extent of the damage is yet to be assessed.
Head teacher of the school, Timothy Kumwenda,wondered why the vandalism occcured at a time he had just joined the school from Mzimba Secodary School.
“As a new headmaster and a parent, I am disappointed with what has happened. They asked for rice and I gave them what they wanted,” he said.
The school has an enrolment of 480 students.
Chikwawa District Council employees go unpaid
Chikwawa District Council is facing financial problems such that it has failed to pay its employees for four months.
Most of the unpaid workers are market masters and revenue collectors who are paid from revenue collected by the council.
The employees, who asked for anonymity, said on Monday that the council has also not paid them last year’s leave grants.
“We have been complaining about this ill-treatment to our bosses for some time now, but to no avail. All we receive in return are threats of dismissals,” said one employee.
The workers are of the view that they have been collecting more than enough from the markets, but the council just doesn’t want to help them.
Apart from failing to pay staff, the council has also been struggling to pay water bills.
The Southern Region Water Board has disconnected water at Chikwawa, Dyeratu and Nchalo markets.
On his part, Chikwawa district commissioner (DC) Bester Mandere confirmed the workers were not paid because they have been under-collecting revenue from markets.
“We mostly pay our direct employees using the money from locally generated revenue and the situation may continue like this if they [employees] do not pull up their socks,” said Mandere.
Chikwawa District Council spends K3.3 million monthly for salaries of 72 workers, but officials indicate that revenue collectors collect less than K3 million a month.—Mana