—Barely a day after authorities shut down Bunda College after students pressed for the removal of their principal whom they are accusing of maladministration, staff at Mzuzu University
have stopped working and are holding a vigil which they say will only come to an end after management addresses their demands of a salary raise amid a high cost of living, chiefly due to the recent currency devaluation.
MaraPost has learnt that the protesting employees had asked for 30 percent increase but the University Council only approved 21 percent.
The protesting employees argue that when the management of Mzuzu University presented an accounts document to government with a deficit of over 99 million kwacha, it also took that opportunity to tell government to reject the 21 percent salary increment.
Following this revelation, the staff members held a joint emergency general assembly on 19th July 2012 so they could come up with a robust response.
MaraPost has seen a resolution from this meeting addressed to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Orton Msiska, co-signed by the chairperson of Mzuzu University academic staff union (MUASU) and Mzuzu University non- academic staff union (MUNASTU).
They noted with regret that management isn’t respecting the decision of the Council which is the employer and the highest decision making body of the university as stipulated in the University Act and Statues.
“Following this anomaly, members have resolved that they hold a vigil until they receive an assurance that management will respect the decision of the Council and that the communication to the Office of the President and Cabinet will be made in such a way that it does not look like an attempt to sabotage the decision made by the Council,” reads the letter in part.
The meeting also resolved that only the cafeteria and the clinic will continue with their operations to avoid inconveniencing students.
“However, should the assurance not come as demanded, then the staff members will be left with no option but to discontinue all services,” concludes the memo.