LILONGWE—The Natural Resources College in Lilongwe was shut down indefinitely Wednesday following violent clashes between police and rioting students.
The riots were triggered by students who were demanding an immediate reversal in the decision to raise tuition from K170, 000 to K279, 000 for each semester.
The students, joined by locals, went on the rampage destroying property, looting shops and blocking roads.
Police fired teargas and rubber bullets at the angry demonstrators to end the chaos. College and police authorities ordered students to vacate the premises within an hour or risk being arrested.
Jonathan Chirwa, Director of Social Welfare at Natural Resources College, told Zodiak radio the demonstrations started on Tuesday and turned violent Wednesday afternoon.
He said most students had fled campus due to the chaos.
But there’s more to the protests.
“Our concern doesn’t only come from the tuition hike issue but also a long standing issue of the merging of this College with Bunda College,” Tionge Chambuluka, a student from NRC said. “We are being taken for granted and never consulted on issues that concern our lives as students of this College.”
The closure of NRC follows the shutting down of Bunda College last month after students clashed with police as they protested a government decision to merge the two colleges.
Since the Banda administration devalued the local currency by about 50 percent in May, Malawi has witnessed wildcat trikes as workers demand salary increases to cope with a high cost of living.
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