Dr. John Paul elected Mzuni Alumni Association President

Dr John Paul, a Malawi Congress Party (MCP) politician and businessman, has been elected president of the Mzuzu University (Mzuni) Alumni Association during an annual general assembly held at Kabumba Hotel in the lakeshore district of Salima on Saturday.

John Paul takes over from Nicely Msowoya, a private practice lawyer, who was at the helm for the last three years.

Paul, Naomi Banda and Elias Gaveta vied for the presidency at the function whose guest of honour was Minister of Civic Education and National Unity, Timothy Mtambo.

Mtambo addressing participants to the Mzuzu University Alumni Association General Assembly in Salima on Saturday–Photos courtesy of MoCENU

The elections presided over by the chair of elections, Edward Misanjo, and overseen by officials from the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) saw Paul scooping 44 votes representing 59.45 percent of the total votes cast.

Banda got 26 [35.14 percent of total votes] while Gaveta amassed 4 [5.41 percent of total votes].

According to the association’s public relations manager, Wonderful Mkhutche, 96 had registered but only 74 cast their votes representing a voter turnout of 77.08 percent.

In their acceptance speech Paul, and his running mate Misheck Banda “stressed on the need for all to work together to uplift the association as well as the University.”

Complement government efforts

Minister Mtambo in his address to the ‘Green Intellectuals’ as those associated with the University are called has since urged university alumni associations to complement the government efforts in mobilizing resources for the advancement of tertiary education in the country.

Mtambo stressed that the government funding and students’ school fees are not sustainable methods for advancing higher education.

“It is an open secret that our universities are not able to meet their needs in terms of research, infrastructure and investment in their students’ welfare because the government funding and students’ school fees are not sustainable methods for advancing higher education.

“There is a need, therefore, to cultivate a third stream of income given that higher education will be a key driver towards social economic development in our country,” he said.

Mtambo impressed upon the Mzuzu University Alumni Association to be a key strategic player in the University Advancement by mobilizing resources from the alumni membership and assembly fees, corporate and donors’ funds, philanthropists and gifts from friends of the university.

He emphasized the need to invest in the current students apart from the academic credentials with skills, values and virtues that will enable them to clinch top-notch jobs and set up businesses across the nation.

At this point, Mtambo proposed that there should be a law that particularly promotes national values and identity that shape the country’s future.

He assured that his ministry was committed to promoting the culture of patriotism, responsible citizens, the culture of democratic as well as Malawian values, which in the end will unite Malawi to have a collective agenda and response in the implementation of development projects as a country.

“This is the dream of Chakwera’s administration. It is only an informed citizen that can meaningfully participate in the development agenda of the country. We need to cultivate and inculcate specific values in our people; values that will unify our country, values that will reconcile us, values that will heal us and values that will contribute to collective responsibility -the responsibility to craft and define our destiny as a people,” he said.

Mzuni Alumni was formed in 2005 to uphold the values of the university by promoting and complementing its efforts in providing quality education, training and research and complementary services to meet the technological, social and economic needs of individuals and communities in Malawi and beyond.

Its objectives, according to Section 3 of its constitution, are to promote fellowship among members of the Association and between the University and its Alumni, to advance the course of education and influence public policy of such courses and to support the University where necessary.

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