Police on Wednesday used tear gas to close Bunda College indefinitely following a decision by the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar).
Both national police spokesperson Davie Chingwalu and Bunda Students Union vice-president Ruth Kaponda confirmed the closure.
Said Chingwalu: â€œWe have enforced a decision made by the Luanar Council. Our role was to protect property and assets of the school, in case the students misbehaved. The students were unruly hence the police using tear gas.â€
Kaponda, on the other hand, said the students were given an hour to leave the campus.
â€œWe were served with a letter from the Luanar Council ordering us to leave campus within an hour. Surprisingly, the letter was addressed to the collegeâ€™s principal Professor Moses Kwapata. We protested the decision considering that the letter was served to wrong people. However, the police went ahead and dispersed us using tear gas,â€ he said.
Meanwhile, the studentsâ€™ union president Hastings Nhlane was in Lilongwe City, about 30 kilometres away from campus, trying to seek legal redress against the move to have the college closed.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology expressed ignorance over the matter. The ministryâ€™sÂ spokesperson Lindiwe Chide said: â€œThe college has not been closed. I have spoken to the Education Secretary who was surprised with the issue.â€
Efforts to talk to Kwapata proved futile as on several attempts his phone went unanswered.
Since Monday this week, the students have been boycotting classes, demanding that their principal resign. They accuse Kwapata of failing to manage the institution.
But Kwapata said on Monday that communication regarding delinking of Bunda College from the University of Malawi to Luanar was