Academic Freedom Demonstration in Zomba, Malawi
Earlier today, hundreds of Malawians took to the streets of Zomba to show support for academic freedom at the University of Malawi, Chancellor College (ChanCo).
Here is how one protester described the demonstration:
I have just returned from a huge demonstration by staff and students today commemorating 100 days of the academic freedom protests. It was unprecedented. Nothing of its kind has ever happened in Zomba, if not Malawi in general. The closest to it would be the demonstrations during the Chakufwa Chihana trial of the early 1990s. I would confidently say the whole Zomba town was on the streets cheering and waving to the university staff and students. If the Mutharika government did not hear the loud voice from this demonstration to day, then they will never, ever, get it right. I have never seen anything like it before in this country.
The demonstration was made legal after a late night injunction was granted against the Zomba City Assembly’s Chief Executive attempt to block it. I have yet to see a response from the government (though earlier this week, President Mutharika called for a commission to resolve the standoff between the government and the lecturers).
- Opposition members in parliament wore red in solidarity with the demonstration.
- Blessings Chinsinga to tell his story of being summoned by the police — the event that started it all
See also earlier posts on academic freedom in Malawi here and here. There is also a Facebook group you can join entitled The Online Demonstration for Academic Freedom in Malawi.
UPDATE: Here is a YouTube video that provides some background: