Kabwila says plot to axe her at University of Malawi unjustified

Chancellor College lecturer Jessie Kabwila has said the plot to fire her from the  University of Malawi  as  a lecture following her active participation in politics will not succeed as it has no basis.

Kabwila, who is now serving as Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesperson,  has been summoned by the University Council (employer) to a disciplinary hearing which will among other things discuss her fate.

However, it has been speculated that a letter of dismissal has already been prepared by the top management and that the hearing will just be a charade.

Kabwila has maintained that before joining frontline politics she wrote the University Council asking for a sabbatical leave and when she got no response she assured herself that it meant that things were well.

Kabwila:I wrote the council asking for sabbatical
Kabwila:I wrote the council asking for sabbatical

“I wrote them, the University Council, asking for a sabbatical leave and they did not reply. That meant consent to me,” Kabwila has been quoted as saying in the press.

Apart from being spokesperson for MCP, Kabwila is contesting for a Parliamentary seat on an MCP ticket in Salima North West.

Last year the Chief Secretary to Government, Hawa Ndilowe, issued a circular to all government departments asking public servants who were contemplating to contest in May 2014 tripartite elections to resign.

“In order to maintain the independence and neutrality of the public service as enshrined in the section 193 of the constitution and regulation 1.201 of the Malawi Public Service Regulations, I require all those that intend to run for political office to first resign from their public service position, prior to embarking on their political campaign trial, including the preliminary stage,” Ndilowe said in a circular to all Principal Secretaries.

Associate law Professor Edge Kanyongolo also said civil servants are not supposed to take part in partisan politics.

According to Kanyongolo, the Constitution of Malawi permits Civil Servants to participate in political activities “as long as such participation does not compromise their role as impartial servants of the general public.”

Reads section 193 of the Malawi Constitution in part: “Members of the Civil Service shall ensure that the exercise of participation in political activities does not compromise their independent exercise of their functions, powers and duties as impartial servants of the general public.”

The law further says that “No Government or political party shall cause any civil servant acting in that behalf to exercise functions, powers or duties for the purposes of promoting or undermining the interest or affairs of any political party or individual member of that party, nor shall any civil servant acting in that behalf promote or undermine any political party or member of that party, save as is consistent with the provisions in this section.”

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