Friday, June 10, 2011

Poly, Chanco July re-opening doubtful

'note one thing: I havent talked to Unima Council'

Despite President Mutharika directing that the embattled sister colleges, Polytechnic and Chancellor college open their doors to students by 4th July, there are indications that students are likely to remain home with the revelation that the University Council and lectures seem not ready to resolve their issues out of court.

Rumours started circulating on Thursday that the University Council still wants to proceed with court cases that are aimed at freezing lecturers’ salaries and completely shutting down the two colleges. On Friday the rumour was confirmed by both Pascow’s chairman Griffin Salima and Spokesperson, Simbarashe Mungoshi.
‘I will see the documents that they [University Council] have served us with on Monday but I hear they still want to completely close the college and freeze our salaries, “said Salima, “we agreed that we should go back to class but how do we do that while we are on campus through the courts and we are getting our salaries through the courts?”

Mungoshi said that they [lecturers] spent the day at the court and that the matter has been adjourned to Friday, next week.

Efforts to talk to a University Council proved futile but University of Malawi Students Union (UMSU), Secretary General, Mphatso Chirwa said that the University Council recently had a meeting where they discussed the Poly-Chanco issue.

“We [students] were not invited as per the rule [that when University Council discusses issues concerning students, the students are not supposed to be present] but we were only served with agendas which included the re-opening of the colleges, the academic calendar and students’ security,” said Chirwa.

On his part Polytechnic Students Union (PSU) president, Evance Morra, said he was in the dark on the issue and that he was just waiting for 4 July.

“If it’s true then it’s defying the president’s directive. We insisted and initiated this dialogue thing because we know how long court proceedings take and to hear that issues are still in court is disappointing, we don’t have all the time in the world,” said Morra.

University students reacted angrily to the development that the court issues were still being dragged on by University Council. A snap Survey of opinion on the social media shows allot of anger at University Council for the ‘politicking’ and president Mutharika for not being honest and clear in his recent speech on the matter.

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