Free speaking Member of Parliament for Rumphi East, Kamlepo Kalua (PP) attracted wrath of government in parliament when his statement seemed to insinuate that President Prof Peter Mutharika is a professor of doom.
Kalua was making his appeal for government to pay civil servants their June salaries and not prioritise in Mapwevupwevu (Dinner parties).
“You know there is a saying in English that, you can have 28 degrees, 50 degrees, but if you don’t have morals and values, you are more like a trained dog,” said Kalua.
Kalua continued: “Here we are talking about leading the people, working on their behalf, helping the people of Malawi and yet we are starving our own people. What do you expect these people to do? That is irregular, unprofessional and lacking national leadership.
“I urge the government to be serious. If you say you are a professor, what are you professing? Doom? “
His statement attracted reaction from the Leader of the House, Francis Kasaila, who accused Kalua of targeting President Mutharika, a professor at law.
“I think it is becoming uncalled for by the Honourable Member to start castigating the President in this House, and we on the government side will not allow that to continue,” said Kasaila.
“The Honourable Member said; Professor, what are you professing? Therefore, as a government we will not allow that to continue. The Honourable Member is really becoming a bad apple in this House and we are asking the secretariat to deal with this. The Chair should start dealing with this Honourable Member because that is not acceptable,” Kasaila added.
But Kalua told the House: “I did not mention the President. I said you can have 28 degrees that’s what I said.”
Kalua, who is one of the people who fought for the introduction of multiparty democracy in the country, is not new to controversy. He was rendered a political convict under late president Bingu wa Mutharika’s regime when he challenged his eccentric autocracy.
While leading the small Malawi Democratic Party, Kalua was sentenced for saying at a political rally that: “We can’t fear police, we can’t fear Bingu,” referring to president Bingu wa Mutharika.
President Mutharika’s professorship recently also courted controversy when Professor Danwood Chirwa who lecturers Law at University of Cape Town in South Africa branded Mutharika as a ‘dubious scholar.’
Professor Chirwa Submitted: “By the way Peter published very little, less than 10 recognised articles in a career spanning about 40 years. What he lists as books are compilations of instruments. He was awarded the professorship somewhere in 1977 not based on research output or excellence but confirmation of tenure, which is common in the US.
“He had no research output worth talking about by that time. It’s a pity Malawians have been fooled and believe he is professorial material. He isn’t and cannot be based on his academic outputs, both teaching and research.
“He also held no notable academic leadership post, eg Head of Department, Deputy Dean or Dean. It is thus understandable that he speaks as if he knows nothing about higher education, for he’s always been a dubious scholar.”
This was in reaction to Mutharika’s comments on University of Malawi (UNIMA) lecturers when he spoke on the role of lecturers during the UNIMA fundraiser to commemorate 50 years of its existence.
In his speech, President Mutharika advised University Lecturers to focus on research and publishing in international journals rather than wasting time writing and commenting on trivial public issues.
However, the remarks have attracted a host of angry sentiments among the academia with many UNIMA lecturers questioning the rationale of the President’s comments.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :