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Bunda College closes indefinitely after students protests over fees and allowances

Bunda College of Agriculture is expected to close indefinitely today to allow Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) and Ministry of Education sort out the issue of tuition fees and stationery allowances.

Bunda College students have forced the administration to close indefinitely following riots which occurred last week Friday and resulted in the arrest of 21 students.

The students led by the union invaded MSB Lilongwe Branch demanding their K30,000 stationery allowance which the bank was yet to pay out.

This led to the destruction of property around the bank which forced Police to intervene.

Bunda College principal Moses Kwapata confirmed the development in an interview yesterday.

"It is an administrative matter. The students are asking for their book allowance so until that is sorted out, we will remain closed," he said.

Bunda College students union president Fraction Phwitiko said administration had informed them in a memo that they would be called back through a press release once the issues are sorted out.

The students wrote to Ministry of Education this week asking to consider removing MSB as administrator of the government loan scheme and substitute it with an agent.

"We want the ministry to force the bank to release the tuition fees to the school and stationery allowances to the students," Phwitiko said.

He added that the school calendar would obviously be affected but that was not their main concern.

"We cannot go to school without fees or stationery. Last year, fees for 245 students was not paid, this year its more and they are being threatened with suspension until they pay up," Phwitiko said.

Hearing of the case involving the 21 students charged with malicious damage started on Monday and has since been adjourned to January 27, 2012.

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