Mzuzu University Campus on Wednesday was deserted as all students fled to nearby townships and locations as Police invaded it firing teargas following riots by the student population over unpaid stationery allowances and tuition.
Eyewitness told NyasaTimes that the Police beat some of the students and also passersby.
“One man who had put on a nice suit was forced to lie on the road and was beaten there after. This was wrong,” said the eyewitness.
The Police also barred journalists from entering into the Campus to interview students and Mzuni management. Ironically the same Police hosted a beer party for journalists last week “ claiming the media and the Police must work hand in hand.”
Mzuzu Police Spokesperson Sergeant Edward Longwe defended the Police’s use of force saying “we did not go there to chase the students but to quell the situation”
Longwe said by blocking the M1 road to Karonga the students had shown unacceptable behavior saying they were inconveniencing other roads users who had nothing to do with their grievances.
Police have since arrested six students and charged them with malicious damage and conduct likely to cause breach of peace.
The arrested students are Patrick Nkhoma aged 20, Meckson Manda 23, Dumusani Shawa 21, Mike Kamunthu 23, Rodrick Nhango 27, Simon Chikumba.
The riotous students broke glasses of a commuter minibus
Management at the Cash strapped Mzuni on Monday issued a memo advising all students with balances on their tuition fees that they will deregistered if they will not pay the balance.
Government owned bank Malawi Savings Bank is responsible for the student Loan Scheme and students were not happy with the criteria the Bank used to process their Loans.
The students claimed that MBS indicated that it will only pay full tuition fees for needy students only and half amount for the rest.
Armed Police have been deployed at MBS for fear that the irate students might cause havoc and loot it.
MBS management refused to talk to the press on the issue of loans saying it is confidential information since the students are the bank’s clients.