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Good Leson In A Tough Situation

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Good Leson In A Tough Situation

Oscar Kameta

Mzuzu University, Malawi.



One of the great minds once said, “experience is one of the best teachers in life”. However, the lesson comes late after something has happened. In most cases experience teaches us after something wrong has happened.

Saturday, 15th December 2018, is a day which has taught us, Mzuzu University and the society a good lesson although in a tough situation. Concerned with what happened when police mobile force fired tear gas in MZUNI campus when the student community was on a vigil due to the death of our dear brother, Derrick Jere who died Friday night at Mzuzu Central Hospital after sustaining injuries in a road accident.

Before condemning what the police did, let us see what happened for the police to come. When the program was about to end, director of ceremony revealed that only two students amongst 4000 plus students will escort the remains of Derrick to his resting place in Ntchisi. This angered the student community as they wanted enough transport so as reasonable number of students can escort to show our love to our late brother Derrick. The resistance of the dean of students, Director of studies and assistant registrar who represented management stirring the anger of already angered intellectuals’ minds fuelled the situation. Claims like we did not expect this and claims that this is weekend so its hard to sort this issue clearly proved that there was lack of humanity and proper reasoning in handling the matter.

As management was still discussing from 5pm around 8 pm the student community was shocked and alarmed with gunshots and painful smoke which was later revealed that it was teargas. Unaware of what was happening outside the main gate where the gunshots were originating, the mourning people, student community and relatives to late Derrick continued singing boldly and mourning bearing in mind that what was happening outside the gate was not part of the funeral ceremony.

Shockingly, the police fired teargas on the place where the vigil was conducted disturbing the mourning and the mother to late Derrick was seen down due to the effect of teargas leaving the remains of Derrick alone. Frankly speaking, this is a taboo during funeral ceremony clearly showing management`s irresponsibility towards the issue. Lately, a land cruiser landed giving hopes before it was discovered that one door was locked. Late around 9pm a Toyota pickup which landed which carried the remains of Derrick and a Rosa private 32 seater coaster to carry students to Ntchisi landed too.

Can we say we need to plan for funerals to show responsibility love and care to our loved ones? Where are the cars which just linger around the campus?

While we are still mourning our dear brother Derrick, it’s also a good time to think and analyse the incident and point out who is to blame on the incident. Is it management? Or the student community? The Police may be? But if management provided the transport in good time, who could have gone on the road and cause confusion if it’s indeed student community who caused the confusion. Where could have the police mobile force gone?

Understanding that the police was on duty, can someone explain to me what strategies that the police use to fire teargas? What image has MZUNI painted to the society? What lesson have we learnt from this? Who is responsible behind the tortured and arrested people?


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