The University of Malawi (Unima) management today held a meeting with Students Union of the Chancellor College (Succ) leadership to update them on the progress and efforts being made towards reopening of the Chancellor College.
This comes after Succ’s plans to organise nationwide demonstrations in Mzuzu, Lilongwe, Blantyre and Zomba this week to press Unima management to open the college.
Speaking in an interview after the meeting, Succ President Sylvester Ayuba James, said from the discussions at the meeting, there was no hope that the college will be reopened soon.
He said it is against this background that Succ will go on with the nationwide demonstrations to force management to open the college and allow the students continue with their education.
“From the discussions we had this morning honestly there is no hope that the college will be reopened soon. They told us that the academic staff is not willing to proceed with negotiations while the college is opened,” James said.
He said it was not clear as to what was the stand of the Chancellor College Academic staff Union (Ccasu) on the issue and was planning to meet them to hear their side of the story and probably set a proper date for the demonstrations.
Unima Registrar Benedicto Okomaatani Malunga said they called for the meeting because it was in the interest of the students to find out why the college was not reopening up to now.
“We have briefed them on everything we have been doing. Our great concern is that (Ccasu) is putting conditions to the Unima management as we try to resolve the issue,” said Malunga.
According to Malunga, the agreement was that Ccasu should call off the strike to necessitate the reopening of the college and that they appoint two representatives from each staff union of the four colleges to continue with the negotiations a thing which Ccasu is adamant to concede.
On his part Ccasu president Anthony Gunde indicated that the union was not part of the Tuesday meeting. He said there has been no new development so far regarding the negotiations with the Unima management as they are still waiting for the management to act on their demands.
“We are still waiting for communication from Unima management and we hope that probably by the end of this week they will communicate to us on their decision,” he said.
The last meeting on the issue was held on April 10, 2017 at the University Office where leaders of staff associations from the four colleges including Ccasu, principals from the four colleges and the Vice Chancellor John Kalenga Saka were in attendance.