Chaos returns as university reopens

MASERU — Limkokwing University re-opened its doors on Tuesday amid more scenes of chaos at the troubled university.

The university was shut down indefinitely on September 16 following violent protests by students.

The students were protesting against the university’s management accusing it of failing to improve services for students.

They also accused management of employing under-qualified lecturers adding management had failed to provide consistent internet services.

But when the university reopened on Tuesday there was no sign that the crisis had ended as students regrouped to restart new protests.

Students who were in lecture rooms were dragged out by colleagues sparking chaotic scenes at the campus.

When a crew from the Lesotho Times arrived at the campus on Tuesday there were several police officers manning the campus entrance.

A police officer who refused to be named said they had been called to restore order after some students went on the rampage.

Students who spoke to the Lesotho Times said they were not happy that their grievances had not been addressed by management.

They are also not happy with the recent appointment of Tefo Macheli as the university’s new human resources manager.

Macheli is a lawyer who is representing Limkokwing in a case in which the students are suing the university management for arbitrarily shutting down the university last month.

The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) president at Limkokwing, Moeketsi Pholo, said they were taken aback by Macheli’s new appointment.

Pholo said they were now planning to petition Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili to intervene.

“The students have proposed we take our grievances to the prime minister in order for him to intervene as a stakeholder,” Pholo said.

Limkokwing University’s director of academic management Derek Nicoll said it was unfortunate that students had chosen to protest when they had genuine grievances.

“It is sad that the students have decided to express their impatience this way. We are trying by all means to meet their demands where possible,” Nicoll said.

Nicoll said some of the grievances were beyond their control citing the construction of the MP Campus which has been going on for years.

“Our policy at Limkokwing is to give Basotho first priority in awarding tenders.

“The problem lies with the local construction company tendered to complete the MP Campus because they have failed to deliver on time,” Nicoll said.

He said the school was also struggling to get a reliable company to provide internet services.

“Our internet service provider has failed to deliver reliable services even though we settle all bills on time,” he said.

On the issue of unqualified lecturers Nicoll said students had failed to positively identify these lecturers at Limkokwing.

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