BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Somali Swahili French Great Lakes Hausa Portugeuse
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Africa  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Friday, 31 January, 2003, 14:28 GMT
Malawi students riot over 'third term'
President Bakili Muluzi
Muluzi is due to step down next year
Students in Malawi have set fire to the ruling party offices over President Bakili Muluzi's attempt to alter the constitution to stay in power.

We got furious about this because the police were protecting the UDF supporters and we rushed to torch their regional office

Student leader
The students took to the streets after thousands of Mr Muluzi's supporters marched in the commercial capital, Blantyre, to back the president's move.

Police dispersed the students after firing tear gas.

Mr Muluzi's attempt to run for a third term has divided Malawians, and a parliamentary bill to this effect was shelved earlier this week.

But this has angered members of his United Democratic Front (UDF) who have intimidated opposition MPs.

Library attacked

Hundreds of students hurled stones at Mr Muluzi's sympathisers, who themselves carried stones, machetes and knives.

Malawi police
Police have had to intervene over the issue all week

"We got furious about this because the police were protecting the UDF supporters and we rushed to torch their regional office," a student leader said.

UDF supporters waving banners reading "He will stand again" had broken all the windows of the university library.

After the students were dispersed by police, the Muluzi supporters marched back through the city under police escort.

There were no reports of injuries or arrests.

Controversial

Feelings have been running high in Malawi over the third term issue, and when a parliamentary started on Monday, police had to fire tear gas to disperse some 4,000 people protesting against the bill.

Police also had to intervene in parliament to prevent fights breaking out between rival MPs after the bill was withdrawn.

On Tuesday, Mr Muluzi sacked Commerce and Industry Minister Peter Kaleso because of his opposition to the 'third term' bill.

A similar bill was narrowly defeated in July last year.

Unless the constitution is changed, Mr Muluzi is due to step down in 2004, when he is due to finish his second term in office.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Mavuto Banda of Daily Times on Focus on Africa
"They broke windows and they set the offices alight"
See also:

29 Jan 03 | Africa
10 Sep 02 | Africa
05 Jul 02 | Africa
15 Oct 02 | Country profiles
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes