The Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC) which was formerly known as Civil Society Coalition for Quality Basic Education (CSCQBE) has commended President Bingu wa Mutharika for the unconditional reinstatement of the four Chancellor College lecturers who were dismissed over academic freedom dispute.
The four are law lecturer Garton Kamchedzera, Jessie Kabwila Kapasula, Blessings Chinsinga and Franz Amin.
Mutharika announced this week before leaving for Australia that the four should be reinstated immediately and without any conditions.
“As a Coalition of 78 local and international organisations, we take the President’s gesture as a positive step towards mutual and sustainable resolve of the impasse and the myriad challenges that have beset our beloved country.
“In respect of the President’s pronouncement, we urge the University Council to move forward to act in good faith and officially reinstate the four lectures in writing as per the Chancellor’s directive,” reads a statement from the coalition signed by its national coordinator Benedicto Kondowe.
Kondowe calls on Mutharika to remain vigilant and committed in promoting and upholding academic freedom as guaranteed in the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi and as further provided for under the Kampala Declaration on Intellectual Freedoms and Social Responsibility and other international human rights instruments.
He also calls on the Academic Staff Union of Chancellor College to discharge the injunctions to pave way for the full reopening of the college.
”Cognizance of the fact that there are other processes already on the ground to look for lasting solution to the academic freedom struggle, we wish to join CCASU and other commentators in urging relevant and competent authorities leading different processes to seriously consider the suggestions from the Head of State and expedite the necessary processes and decisions that incorporate the agreements concluded on 2 nd July, 2011 with the University Council’s Task force and during the dialogue between Civil Society and Government at Kuchawe, Zomba,” Kondowe said.
Meanwhile president of the college’s academic staff, Kabwila Kapasula says the lecturers have welcomed the President’s directive.