Battle of wits has ensued between the University Council and the University of Malawi lecturer Dr Jessie Kabwila following her appointment last week as a spokesperson for the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) by the party’s president Dr Lazarus Chakwera.
Malawi government requires government employees to resign from government if they are to engage into active politics.
The ruling People’s Party (PP) deputy publicity secretary Ken Msonda, in a statement issued on Saturday, argued that Constitution does not allow a public servant to participate in active politics, asking her to choose one thing
But Kabwila maintains that she will never resign as university lecturer because of the appointment, saying there are other university workers before her who were actively involved in politics.
“What I am going to be doing is not something that have not been done before,” she told a local radio, adding: “if you go around and look at the Polytechnic we have members of the staff who were Secretary General’s of a party and they still continue to work and I would like to think that the way I will be treated will be exactly the way how those people have been treated,” she says.
But Registrar of the University of Malawi Benedicto Okomaatani Malunga maintains that it is not permissible for the members of the teaching staff to engage in active politics saying this creates conflict of interest.
He however says the University Council has first to ascertain if the appointment would really cause conflict of interest through procedures it follows before making a decision.
But Kabwila said: “I am not daft as not to check what the conditions of service of my work here at the Unima stipulate, I have checked all that and consulted widely.”
Former spokesperson of Brown Mpinganjira’s defunct NDA Salule Masangwi never quit as a lecturer at the Polytechnic and no calls were made for him to quit during the administration of the United Democratic Front (UDF).
The University Council is yet to meet Dr Kabwila on the matter.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :