President Peter Mutharika has said he is not responsible for the day to day decisions of public universities where he is chancellor.
Mutharika said this on Thursday when he was inaugurated Chancellor of the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST),whose idea was conceived while he was minister of education science and technology.
Opened on October 24, 2013, MUST which has has 950 students , has so far graduated 23 undergraduates and 25 post graduate students.
The inauguration at Ndata campus in Thyolo comes at a time when four public universities remain closed due to various problems and critics are blaming the president for indecisions.
“University councils and management make decisions for the day to day running of our public universities,” he said.
Chancellor College, Polytechnic, Mzuzu University and Natural Resources College were closed for various reasons, negatively affecting the education calendar of the universities.
He said he can only intervene on public university matters when councils have failed to make decisions or resolve issues.
“I have complete confidence on the governance and structure of the public university councils,” he said.
Mutharika said that government is not there to micro-manage or impede the autonomy of universities but provide necessary guidance so that universities achieve their visions.
“The university is run by the law and by law there are establishments such as Chancellor, Council and administration. As a chancellor, my duty is to guide the vision of the university, ensure that the university has sound leadership that manages the affairs of the university on behalf of government. We can come in where there are situations where university management cannot make decisions on its own,” he added.
His comments come at a time when some public universities have been closed for six months mainly over fee hike disagreements between students and councils.
In his speech, the Malawi leader also called on citizens of the nation to start believing in themselves and do more in advancing technology and innovation.
“Science and technology used to be part of us before colonisation. We used to be more creative in making resources that helped in our day to day lives. Let’s embrace the spirit of self-independence. We must be producers and exporters of technology and not consumers and importer of other people’s technology,” said Mutharika.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :