President Lazarus Chakwera remains committed to letting go some of the presidential powers very soon, State House has said.
According to presidential Presidential Press Secretary, Brian Banda, the Malawi leader has already instructed Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to commence all due processes to facilitate the power cut.
Responding to questions on Monday during the bi-weekly State House press briefing, Banda said: “The President remains committed to this particular promise but he continues to undertake his duties as Chancellor of public universities as is provided for within the law.
“Once Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs finalizes this task, the process will proceed for Parliament where the matter will be deliberated accordingly.”
Prior to the 2019 nullified election, Chakwera said he was troubled about some ceremonial powers that Malawi leader wields and promised to shed off some of these once elected into office.
However, since assuming office President Chakwera has been installed as Chancellor for University of Malawi (Unima), Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) and recently Mzuzu University (Mzuni).
It is against these consecutive installations that some quarters of society have been raising fears that the President seems to be going against what he promised.
The Press Secretary highlighted that by proceeding with installations as Chancellor of public universities, the President is abiding by the country’s law thereby fulfilling the oath he took to defend the Constitution.
“As we wait for the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Parliament to exhaust their legal responsibilities on the matter, operations of universities need to go on without distraction,” he said.
Added Chakwera: “For instance we cannot put on hold graduation ceremonies simply because the reform process is underway. The President is obliged by law to undertake his duties.”
Banda further said that the President will soon be installed as Chancellor of Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST).
Chakwera inclusive, all six Malawi Presidents have served as Chancellor of public universities.
This means Chakwera’s stance is a break from a tradition that has guided the academia culture in the country for close to five decades.
The timing of this shift of administration also comes at a time the country’s oldest and largest university, Unima, is undergoing a delinking process that will create three independent universities.
The freedom for all these universities to install own Chancellors will mark a new era in managing affairs of tertiary education in the country. There is heightened hope that all these changes will improve both intake and quality of tertiary education the country.
Shedding off state control on academic institutions is a global in-thing as a majority of public universities have already shifted away from state footprint within their leadership.
Individual institutions are at liberty to appoint as Chancellors influential members of society such as retired politicians, civil servants, diplomats, religious and traditional leaders among others.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :