University of Malawi Students Union (Umsu) says it will hold a vigil at the University Office in Zomba to protest a recent tuition fee hike.
In a press statement released yesterday, Umsu said from next Tuesday, students in the four University of Malawi (Unima) constituent colleges will boycott classes and examinations to gather at the University Office.
Unima Council recently announced that mature entry students will be paying tuition fees ranging from K900 000 to K1.4 million, first year generic students will pay fees in the range of K400 000 to K600 000 while continuing students will pay K400 000 per annum.
Umsu president Tionge Sikwese said in a written response yesterday that the vigil has been organised to force the University Council reverse the fee hike.
“All students in Blantyre and Lilongwe are expected to travel by college vehicles to Zomba. We will camp at the University Office until Unima Council reverses its decision to hike fees. If we do not get a sound response, we will hold a similar vigil at the State House in Lilongwe,” said Sikwese.
The statement also says that the vigil is not politically motivated.
“The public should note that Umsu is not a political party. We warn those who are writing on social media associating Umsu with political parties to stop,” reads part of the statement.
Meanwhile, Unima spokesperson Peter Mitunda said the University Council has called for a meeting with Umsu representatives to discuss the matter.
“The council will be engaging Umsu on Saturday. Additionally, contrary to claims made by Umsu, the council has always been willing to meet the student leaders. That is why even the Saturday meeting has been called by council and not Umsu,” said Mitunda.
Umsu previously petitioned Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MoEST) to intervene on the matter, but the ministry advised the students to forward their grievances to the University Council.