The University of Malawi student body on Friday elected Humble C.S Bondo, a third-year public administration scholar from the School of Law, Economics, and Governance, as President of the Students Representative Council (SRC), formerly the Students Union of Chancellor College (SUCC).
Bondo received 1543 votes in the closely contested race representing 52.7%, while Ekari Orama Mathuka received 1385 votes.
“We have elected him because we feel he has what it takes to address the pressing challenges confronting University of Malawi students.”
“We want the academic calendar to be fixed. As it stands, we will be doing one semester in one year thereby spending about seven years doing a four-year degree programme. We find this insensitive, retrogressive, and outright failure by those entrusted with the administration of the university. Thousands of students led by President-elect Humble Bondo staged a protest to petition the Chancellor to intervene and we elected him on the understanding that he will push this agenda to our satisfaction.
“If he calls for another protest or vigil, students are more than willing to participate since we believe the current administration, led by Professor Sajidu and his deputy Sunduzwayo Madise, is incompetent, self-serving, retrogressive, and lacks foresight,” said one student, who spoke on condition of strict anonymity due to fear of repercussions.
The student added:
‘All we want is two semesters per academic year, as has been the tradition, rather than one semester in one year. Whether we use online learning or blended learning to do this, as long as we have two semesters per academic year, that is fine with us,” the student continued.
Bondo became an instant student darling when he wrote a strongly worded letter to ESCOM Chief Executive Officer Kamkwamba Kumwenda requesting that he provides the university with a steady power line, stating that the university’s academic enterprise was being strangled by the constant black-outs.
“Since the day we learned about that letter, we noticed big changes in our teaching area, especially in our main library; power would go out for five minutes and then be restored immediately; a clear case that the message in that letter reached home,” the student said, adding that “all of this made us know that we have a leader in Humble C who is willing to take risks at a time when the administrators were surrendering to ESCOM’s mediocrity.”
All attempts to speak to President-elect Humble Bondo were futile as he did not pick up our phone. A brief web search of Bondo’s profile reveals that he is a well-known athlete in the country who made international news a few years ago when he defeated draught International Grandmaster Michael Semianiuk of Belarus in Bulgaria. Bondo is also a poet most known for his poem ‘Kudachema,’ in which he recorded the horrific events of the 20th July 2011 demonstrations, in which around 20 people died opposing the country’s economic mismanagement under late President Bingu Wa Mutharika.