Concerned members of staff at the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) have taken a swipe at the Council’s chairperson Stanley Khaila for conniving with the former institution’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer Dr. Golden Msilimba to victimize and frustrate NCHE Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mathilda Chithila-Munthali.
The two, according to a letter jointly authored by the aggrieved members of staff, titled ‘Concern over the current situation at National Council for Higher Education,’ are on a dreadful and nauseating mudslinging mission to topple Chithila-Munthali, a ploy that would eventually culminate into Msilimba grabbing the top job at NCHE.
But according to the strong-worded letter by the concerned staff, Msilimba does not have the character for the job because he is “more corrupt and ‘power hungry’”.
Meanwhile, the infuriated members of staff have threatened to ‘expose’ Msilimba for ‘hurting and damaging the reputation of Chithila-Munthali who has been extremely diligent and on a drive to strengthenthe checks and balances at NCHE to keep the corruption virus at bay from the institution.
In fact, Nyasa Times findings show that Chithila Munthali, a respected Microbiologist who used to lecture at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland is loathed due to her strictness and professionalism by a crop of unscrupulous staff members at NCHE, led by the power ungry Msilimba.
In the letter, the irritated members of staff reveal that Msilimba was behind recent media reports which alleged NCHE was caught up in the abuse of funds with some officers drawing huge fuel and airtime allowances without approval of management and the council, a mere gambit to prompt NCHE Board of Directors to dismiss Chithila-Munthali.
Following such media reports in August this year, Msilimba, a highly connected official to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), dramatically resigned; apparently to hoodwink the general public that he is clean.
In the letter, the vexed members of staff say that they are aware that the Council Chair secretly met Msilimba on 24thAugust, 2016 in Blantyre, where they connived to fire the CEO ‘because the Deputy says as long as the CEO is around, he cannot work with her and advance his agenda.
’It is alleged that the Board Chair cum politician, Khaila, has the full support of the Minister of Education Dr. Emmanuel Fabiano.
Ironically, Nyasa Times understands that after the media reports on the alleged abuse of funds, Chithila-Munthali was sent on forced leave on August 29, 2016.
“We are shocked that it is the Council members who are supporting the Deputy CEO, including Dr. Agness Chimbiri, a Mr. Chikhuntha of DHRMD and the Council chair himself. Our investigation revealed that in order to validate their decision the Council set up a make-shift kangaroo court. It is very funny that the same people who are working with the Deputy are the ones in the taskforce to come and find out from the members about the issue [of alleged abuse of funds],” reads their four-page letter.
The letter is addressed to the Chairperson of the Council and copied to Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet; Comptroller in the Department of Statutory Corporations, Secretary for Education, Science and Technology, Chairperson for the Finance and Audit Committee (FAAC) at NCHE, Chairperson of Risk and Audit Committee at NCHE, and Chairperson for the Quality and Accreditation Committee as well as Chithila-Munthali and Msilimba themselves.
Add the concerned members: “This person doesn’t stay in the office because he is busy lobbying to become a CEO. There is a saying that the devil you know is better than the angel you don’t know. So if you council members think the Deputy CEO is a good man as compared to the CEO, you are making a huge mistake.”
“Why don’t you consider a scandal at Mzuzu University where he was fighting to be a Vice Chancellor and caused a lot of havoc?…most of you are not looking at this issue objectively because you have vested interests and are already brainwashed to think Msilimba wishes NCHE well.”
Our investigation through various sources at NCHE shows that Chithila-Munthali has helped to shape up the institution since its inception and the institution now has goodwill from a wide-spectrum of donors.
“For example, NCHE recently relocated from Chilambula Road and have secured their own permanent building near Chitukuko Filling Station in Area 15 [in Lilongwe].This is because of the goodwill from the World Bank and it took the CEO’s efforts to convince the World Bank for that project to materialize,” said one source on condition of anonymity.
World Bank bankrolls NCHE under its Skills Development Project (SDP).
Another source said Dr. Mathildah Chithila is just a victim of envy and jealousy as well as political influence and that the Council Chair wants to sacrifice the CEO as a lamb to appease the Deputy and powers that be.
“Actually, the amount they accuse her to have abused is K15, 000. So you can see that it’s just another political machination to kick her out and replace her with a DPP sympathiser. This is the more reason this country is on a down-ward spiral. No one cares about professionalism.” he said.
Efforts to talk to Msilimba proved futile as his mobile phone was out of reach for several attempts.On one hand, Chithila-Munthali also declined to comment on the matter and briefly said: “I cannot comment at this point in time because the matter is in court”.
Chithila-Munthali, aided by her lawyer Wapona Kita, obtained a court order on 2nd November2016 that enabled her to resume office on November 4, 2016.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :