In a twist of events, while the Polytechnic Students Union (PSU) is fighting tuition fee hike by the University Council in court, some students from the college have called on the Union to give in to what the Council is demanding to pave way for the opening of the college.
Speaking during a press briefing in Blantyre on behalf of what they called “concerned students”, Yohane Sambakusi said PSU is no longer representing the interest of the majority of the students, they requested the Union to accommodate the views of other students by accepting that students pay the hiked tuition fees and engage the council on opening the college before the case returns to court on December 12.
“They [PSU] disowned us and this is why we issued a petition which a minimum of 500 students have signed already. We have closed the signing of the petition today and we will take it to them so that they understand how serious we are and learn to listen to the voice of the people they claim to be leading,” said Sambakusi.
About six students who were present at the meeting told reporters that they have consulted their fellow students and are ready to pay the hiked fees for the sake of progress.
Third year student Eric Ngomwa laid his hope on the Higher Education Students Loans Board and other well-wishers to bail out needy students who will not be able to raise the new fees.
He ruled out any possibility of his grouping being used by other interested parties in a divide and rule strategy.
“We just want to graduate and go into the industry, this whole thing is delaying us and killing the hope that our families had on us for a brighter future,” he said.
In response, PSU president Frank Msiska said as a union, they have not received any official communication from the grouping adding that PSU has no problem with them expressing their views.
“We are in a democratic dispensation and this is expected. However it could have been wiser if they came to us first to present their views so that together we can map the way forward,” he said.
He further added that the union has over 5000 members and to say that the signed petition represent the views of the majority just because of the 500 people who have signed it was unjustifiable.