CEO for Chartered Accountants in Malawi aggrieved by Professor Chirwa’s assertion on ‘fake’ PhD

Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (ICAM) chief executive officer (CEO), Dr Francis Chinjoka Gondwe says he is aggrieved by allegation made by Malawian law Professor Danwood Chirwa on social media that asserts that Gondwe’s doctoral degree in Business Administration obtained through Columbia Commonwealth University in 2011 is ‘fake’.

ICAM CEO Gondwe

Chirwa, who is Professor and Dean of Law at the University of Cape Town, posted on Facebook on Sunday alleging that Columbia Commonwealth University is a ‘diploma mill’ and that “there are lecturers from Chancellor College and the Polytechnic who participated in the fraud that this institution is and has always been”.

He asks: “Did the two colleges give permission to these individuals to participate in the fraud?

“Secondly, to you chartered accountants of Malawi: could you provide information on where the CEO of your Institute of Chartered Accountants of Malawi got his PhD? Further questions will follow from the answer you give.”

But according to records, Government duly accredited Columbia Commonwealth University in 2001 through National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), which was established by an Act of Parliament under sections 28 and 29.

The Government records also show that the said university was deregistered in 2018 owing to governance issues “for failure to carry out its objectives and not carrying out its functions properly”.

“This order shall not affect the validity of any certificate, diploma, degree or other academic qualifications conferred or awarded prior to 29th October, 2018,” says the Gazette that was filed by the then Minister of Education, Science and  Technology, Bright Msaka.

When contacted, Gondwe confirmed that he indeed graduated from Columbia Commonwealth University in 2011 with a doctoral degree in Business Administration with strategic management as his area of concentration.

He said it was unfortunate that “the good Professor is making such wild allegation” but declined to comment further as he currently has sought legal counsel on the matter that he hinted borders on defamation.

However, when contacted Prof. Chirwa maintained that the issue is not whether Gondwe has a certificate or not but “rather whether he got it from a diploma mill”.

“These are institutions created to exploit regulatory gaps in higher education with the further intention to make a mockery of higher education and to profit from such mockery,” he said.

“CCU is known throughout the world to be a fake university. This man who heads ICAM should be able to distinguish between a fake institution and a genuine one.

“He chose to participate in the fraud and benefited financially from it. He has also misled people into thinking he holds a credible degree — he does not.

“That CCU managed to gain registration and got accreditation at some point doesn’t vindicate him. Rather it provides evidence of possible corruption.

“The Ministry of Education and the people involved in this fiasco have to provide information of what standards they applied and review they conducted.”

He challenged Gondwe to sue him in court, saying he is ready to “defend higher education in the courts of law” [and that] “such a suit will effectively be between those who make a mockery of higher education and defenders of the integrity of higher education”.

He also maintains that he has not just targeted Gondwe alone but “all who have fake degrees,”

“This cartel of diploma fraud involves multiple players including regulators, profiteers and gullible individuals. For young undergraduate students who don’t know, they can be excused but for those with some level of education, their intention is to profit from the misrepresentation of their credentials.

“Gondwe leads an important professional organization. It cannot be headed by someone who has questionable qualifications — that is disqualifying in any credible accounting regulatory body.

“But Malawi is led by questionable characters all the time,” Chirwa said.

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Getu Muntharika, Phd
Getu Muntharika, Phd
1 month ago

He is very right.

John Phiri
John Phiri
1 month ago

Mr Gondwe just accept that your qualification from Columbia Commonwealth University is not acceptable by many of us who know what PhD training and research demands. So just drop it and move on. You can use your Masters which is already close to PhD.

Prosper
Prosper
1 month ago

Substance over form please! The University was deregistered in 2018 for governance issues but the validity of certificates issued before this date were not affected! This is just political expediency. The decision to deregister was not based on events post deregistration date but pre and the same certificates issued pre deregistration are valid? Only gullibles will buy this. Legally the certificates are valid but in substance they are invalid!

Kanyimbi Senior
1 month ago

The only qualification no one will question is to gain through a professional course such as CIMA, ACA, ACCA, CFA etc. PhD is mostly copy and paste from Google (zaanthu ouma mitu) so long as you edit the contents to your own words to avoid plagiarism. Why bother about a PhD anyway.

Let’s focus on some developments that will benefit our families and Malawi not PhD this PhD that…..demonstrate your skills and avoid corruption.

Wooloomooloo
Wooloomooloo
1 month ago

Prof.D Chilwa anaziona komweko 2014 kutsikammusi
ANC inapezeka ndimunthu yemwe amati ali ndi PhD kwa zaka ndi position yabwino muchipanicho
Zitaululika
anapepesa ndikutula pansi udindo
ndipo dziko linakhala chete
Anali olimbikila komanso ochenjera mu ANC yonse

Ben Phiri, PhD
Ben Phiri, PhD
1 month ago

PhD is a responsibility. PhD as a responsibility means a ” Promotion to be Humble and Diligent” Unfortunately in Malawi, PhD is regarded as a title. This is why many use all sort of shortcuts to get it. If you obtain a PhD from a reputable university, why someone should question you! You only get worried, if your PhD is from Mombera University. This a tip of an iceberg. NCHE needs to do an audit of these bogus PhD holders who do not even no a Theoretical Framework

Blessed Banda
Blessed Banda
1 month ago

There was no Council for Higher Education in 2001 in Malawi (NCHE). This university is a bogus university, no question about it.

President Chisokonezo
President Chisokonezo
1 month ago

I think the so called professor has a problem. One a creditation takes a lot like quality of lecturers, library and other things. These includes affliations. Has the learned professor wondered why seminaries and theological colleges offer recognised degrees? On recognition in countries every country has it’s relevant courses.

Maunits
Maunits
1 month ago

DPP Led administration full of corruption and shithole look mpaka registering fake university kkkkkk eeeeesh koma dhiphwiphwiphwi.

Muhariwa
Muhariwa
1 month ago

Prof. Danwood Chirwa, are you telling us now that Dr Francis C.Gondwe uses a FAKE degree at ICAM????? I did not know.

Hahawhy
Hahawhy
1 month ago
Reply to  Muhariwa

Now you know

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