BLANTYRE. — Students at Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi (Unima) in Zomba, blocked US Second Lady Dr Jill Biden’s motorcade in Matawale, Zomba while holding anti-fee hike demonstrations.
The students burnt tyres on the road blocking Biden’s motorcade from proceeding to Machinga. Dr Biden, who was accompanied by US ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer and Minister of Education, Emmanuel Fabiano was taken to Eastern Region police headquarters at the Zomba “Zero” before returning to Blantyre, the commercial capital about 62km from the former capital city.
A US national who spoke to Nyasa Times in Zomba said the blocking of Dr Biden was a “national scandal” and that all Malawians should be “embarrassed.”
“While the students should also be blamed, the intelligence head should be fired forthwith,” he recommended.
“People elsewhere have travelled in war torn countries and nothing of this sort has ever happened. And certainly not in the peaceful Malawi.”
He called the incident a “diplomatic embarrassment” for Malawi.
University of Malawi Students Union (UMSU) president Tionge Sikwese said they held demonstrations to force the university council to reverse the fee hike.
Unima council recently announced that mature entry students will be paying tuition fees ranging from about $1 249 to about $1 942, first year generic students will pay fees in the range of about $555 to about $833 while continuing students will pay K400 000 per annum. — Nyasa Times/HR.