The Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi (Unima), has announced that it will reopen for its second semester on January 20.
The institution was indefinitely closed on November 26 2019, a couple of weeks before the scheduled close of its second semester, following fire that gutted part of Nyika Hostel, a development that affected 268 students.
A notice from the college management dated December 31 states that the reopening of the institution follows a quick response from government through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma).
The college has since asked students who were occupying Nyika Hostel Wing A to look for alternative accommodation.
Reads the notice in part: “The council of the University of Malawi through the management of The Polytechnic would like to inform all students that the college shall re-open on Monday 20th January 2020. In light of this, all students who used to occupy Nyika Hostel Wing A are advised to look for alternative accommodation.”
The Polytechnic acting registrar Yamikani Chilinde in an interview yesterday confirmed the planned reopening of the college, but declined to say how much money Dodma has made available to the institution which was looking for K146 million to support students who were affected by the fire.
She said: “Well-wishers are still welcome because we still want people to do something. But as of today, I can’t disclose how much we have collected because I don’t have an update.”
Efforts to speak to Dodma officials proved futile as their phones went unanswered.
Police are yet to release findings of their were investigations into the cause of the fire that rendered the 268-capacity hostel inhabitable. The fire started following running battles between first year students and police who fired tear gas canisters to disperse students who blocked the Masauko Chipembere Highway in protest against compromised security in their hostels.