By Synd Kalimbuka
Police in Zomba on Wednesday fired teargas to disperse Zomba Police Secondary School students, who were demonstrating against management’s decision to expel about 150 students who were not selected to the institution.
According to one of the concerned students who asked not to be identified, the head teacher has allegedly been receiving money for admission of new students in Forms 1-4.
This was revealed when auditors from the National Police Headquarters in Lilongwe were about to carry out an audit of students enrolled through normal selection against the present enrollment.
The concerned student said the issue forced the school management to immediately send all ‘backdoor’ students home as the enrollment at the institution was much bigger than those which were selected.
He further told Malawi News Agency (Mana) that students are also accusing the head teacher for not being transparent with funds received from a certain non-governmental organization (NGO) amounting to K31 million for the renovation of a boys’ hostel which was destroyed by fire early this year.
“The issues prompted us to mobilize ourselves and demonstrate against our head teacher to reverse the decision of chasing all ‘backdoor’ students and for him to explain where and how the purported NGO funds have been used,” he said.
During the demonstration, the students blocked the road between Police College main entrance and the boys’ hostel where they were stoning vehicles.
Reacting to the situation, police fired teargas to disperse and prevent them from damaging government and peoples’ property in the city.
Eastern Region Police Public Relations Officer, Inspector Joseph Sauka confirmed that the students were indeed demonstrating.
“It is true that police fired teargas to disperse the students who were demonstrating at Zomba Police Secondary School on Tuesday,” said Sauka.
Sauka, however, could not indicate the reason for the demonstrations since he was on his way to the school to gather more information on what happened.
Meanwhile, there are unconfirmed reports that over 150 backdoor students have been sent home following the incident.