MBABANE: Students at the Eswatini College of Technology (ECOT) were told to vacate the College within 30 minutes in exactly two days after a protest over accommodation and Wi-Fi refunds.
According to a memorandum issued by the College’s Pincipal Nomcebo Nhlengetfwa on Thursday afternoon the students were told to vacate the College by 1700hrs on Thursday following a series of class boycotts and acts of vandalism.
“Following a series of class boycotts by the College students, acts of vandalism on the college property as well as the prevailing atmosphere of unrest in the institution, the College Administration hereby informs the College Community that the College is closed with immediate effect”, reads the memorandum in part.
One of the students who spoke in condition of anonymity to this Swaziland News said they had engaged in class boycotts from Thursday last week up to Tuesday demanding refunds for last year’s accommodation and Wi-Fi fees, but they were shocked to receive a memo informing them to vacate the College exactly two days after the strike had ended.
“When schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year, government had already settled our tuition and accommodation fees in full. We are demanding that the College should at least refund us with the accommodation fees since we spent the rest of the academic year at home. We also demand refunds for the non-existent Wi-Fi services which the College claims to be offering. We were shocked to receive the memorandum today since the protest ended on Tuesday, what’s worse is that we were only given about 30 minutes to vacate the College. Some of us come from as far as Lavumisa, how do you expect us to reach home at this time? As we speak some students have camped by the gate with nowhere to go since the College has deployed police officers to ensure that we complied with the memorandum”,said the student.
When reached for Comments, Nomcebo Nhlengetfwa,the Principal of the Eswatini College of Technology said she was in a meeting.
“I’m in a meeting, I will call you later for comment”, she said.
Colani Maseko, the President of the Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS) expressed his disappointments at the manner in which some the institutions of higher learning were handling matters affecting students.
“What pains us a union is that the Principal of the College is a woman, as a mother and academician we expect her to treat the students with dignity and attend to their grievances and not expose them to danger. Ordering students to vacate the institution at this time of the night when she knows that students are broke is a sign that she is not fit to be a leader of the College. As a union we support the idea of seeing women in leadership, but these women who are currently leading the institutions are setting bad examples, firstly it was the corrupt Winnie Nhlengetfwa from the Southern Africa University (SANU), later it was Tfobile Gumede from Limkokwing University and now it’s Nomcebo Nhlengetfwa at ECOT”, said the SNUS President.
SCOT Management kicks out students for engaging in a protest over lack of accommodation