Civil servants strike takes new twist in Malawi as students invade president’s school



Drama erupted Wednesday February 20 2013 at the Joyce Banda Foundation (JBF), an international private school, in Blantyre City South, whose patron is Malawi’s head of state, as pupils from nearby public schools stalled business at the school to level the field with what is happening at the public schools.

There has been no learning at the public schools following the stand taken by teachers to join fellow civil servants in the on-going national wide strike in the country.

The action by the irate pupils from Zingwangwa and Chimwankhunda schools marched to JBF in an attempt to chase their colleagues at the president’s establishment. All the schools in question fall under the constituency of government spokesperson, information and civic education minister Moses Kunkuyu, Joyce Banda’s first cabinet minister.

Plain clothed police officers, senior police officers from the region, those from the anti-riot B Company and police officers from the zone the school is located converged to the president’s establishment to check on the un warranted invasion.

Reports indicate that five pupils were picked for questioning by the police and that the other pupils were driven out of the JBF compound in police vehicles.

Founded by Joyce Banda in 1997 this is the first time such a scenario has happened at the institution, where no damages or injuries were reported although some pupils claim to have been traumatised and are contemplating not to wind up the week coming to school.

One of the pupils who refused to be identified said pupils from the government schools were not amused that while they are not learning because their teachers are on strike those at the president’s school should be learning.

The president is patron of JBF, whose director Roy Kachali Banda refused to grant an interview to the media on the matter.

The civil service in Malawi is in its second week of strike to force the government listen to their grievances but teachers just joined this week.

On the same Wednesday, the Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in the capital city of Malawi was closed as air traffic controllers downed tools too.

Civil servants are demanding a 67 per cent wage increase but the government says it cannot afford that much.

© 2013, Peter Chipanga. All rights reserved. – The views expressed here are purely those of the author and not necessarily those of the publishers. – Newstime Africa content cannot be reproduced in any form – electronic or print – without prior consent of the Publishers. Copyright infringement will be pursued and perpetrators prosecuted.

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1 comment

  1. Martins

    It is a pity that things have gone this bad. Thursday has been even worse as more primary school pupils have been marching along the streets of Blantyre, and that the police have even called for more manpower from the eastern region, imagine!

    On Wednesday it was shameful to see riot police armed to the teeth wrestling with 10year old kids.

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