INTIMIDATION AND INTOLERANCE TO FREEDOM
OPEN LETTER TO DR RICHARD TAMBULASI, THE PRINCIPAL, CHANCELLOR COLLEGE:
We write referring to your letter summoning Mr Chilenje the SUCC General Secretary to appear before College Student’s Disciplinary Committee, dated 16th August 2016.
We are regretting the decision the student council is taking to punish one person for the actions of the group and shifting blame of the Police damaging of property on a student. We will stand strong behind this person.
The President Mutharika’s response to UNIMA leaders he invited at the Palace, when he said he agreed with the frustrations to the extent of lowering the fees by MK50, 000, an action which the Council failed, is an indication in itself that the demonstration was not illegal and it was a student’s right.
We are therefore, here to remind the office of the Principal and the Disciplinary Committee that Malawi is a democratic State with all the freedoms included. As such, We remind the office of the Principal and the Disciplinary Committee to tread carefully on issues outlined on the letter. In the first place charges outlined which are against protesting are against freedoms which should be enjoyed by every Malawian.
The outlined charges clearly bear all the marks of threats and intimidation, which jeopardizes the democratic rights of every individual Malawian of which Mr Chilenje the SUCC General Secretary and every other student are part of.
Protesting for the good cause is never unlawful unless, it’s protesting against one’s rightful conviction of a crime committed in this case protest against ‘fee hike’. It is our will that Malawi becomes tolerant to freedom of assembly and speech. As such we fully support both the leadership and students of Polytechnic and Chancellor College for taking a decision to take it to the streets against fee hike.
We would like to stress that the freedom our fathers fought for should be appreciated and not trumped upon by overzealous authorities with desire and political motivation to punish unnecessarily and silence the protesters.
It will be our duty to rise against every tendency to oppression of the poor and needy like in the fee hike.
If your actions are to stop any further strikes, you have pressed the wrong button. More strikes will start because of your decision.