Police arrest 19 over Luanar protests

Police have arrested 19 people, including 14 Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) students in the wake of a tuition fee hike protest by the students.

During the fracas, learners from St. John’s Primary School abruptly joined the protests.

Police rushed to the college on Monday to quell the protest

Besides the 14 university students, police also arrested five community members who had also joined the demonstrations along the M1 Road. However, no primary school learner was arrested.

Central Region Police deputy spokesperson Patrick Kasauka said the students mobilised themselves and blocked the road to Mitundu near their Bunda Campus with stones. They also burned tyres.

He said the students were stoning passing vehicles, in the process rendering the road dangerous to pass through.

Said Kasauka: “The police moved in swiftly to arrest the situation. In the process, twelve students were apprehended in line with Section 237 of the Penal Code which renders it as an offence for any person to place anything on the roads with the intention to injure or endanger the safety of people.”

He said 12 students were arrested on Monday along Mitundu road while two were arrested alongside the five community members at Luanar’s City Campus where they protested for the second day.

Luanar Students Union president Timothy Grant said the City and Bunda campus students began protests on Monday this week to express their anger over management’s decision to hike fees by 15 percent instead of the recommended five percent per year.

The annual tuition fees was hiked from K360 000 to K420 000 for Bunda Campus and from K771 000 to K890 000 for City Campus effective November this year.

Earlier on Tuesday, the situation turned ugly as St. John’ Primary School pupils and youths from Areas 36 and 22 joined Luanar students in the demonstrations.

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