Mutharika ‘sleeping’ on his job – Kajoloweka

About 9 000 students of Mzuzu University (Mzuni) and the Polytechnic — a constituent of the University of Malawi — should brace for more home time as the civil action the students resorted to Wednesday promises no light at the end of the tunnel.

Mzuni students hold demo

Mzuni students hold demo

While Mzuni has been closed for about a month now over staff’s demands for better perks,  the Polytechnic is indefinitely closed since last year due to misunderstandings between management and students on changes in the fees structure.

Both institutions, supported by other rights group have several times petitioned government and the universities’ chancellor President Peter Mutharika for what they describe as “gross violation of fundamental human right to education” but there has been no attention given.

President ‘sleeping’ on his job

Youth and Society (YAS), a youth rights group,  which has been part of the joint petitions by Mzuni and the Polytechnic has since blamed Mutharika for “sleeping” in his job.

YAS executive director Charles Kajoloweka told Nyasa Times that it was unfortunate that relevant authorities in the country were taking the issue with a grain of salt.

“We are talking of over 9000 young people whose right to education has been grossly violated, and yet the Chancellor, a law scholar by training is simply sleeping over it,” said Kajoloweka.

In a joint ‘Petition of Complaint’ presented to the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC),  YAS adds her voice by calling upon the Commission to swiftly look into the matter.

Kajoloweka decried that much as efforts to get the attention of the President on the matter,  there was “no political will.”

He said it is sad that government has chosen “to politicise a serious matter like this one.”

About two weeks ago,  President Mutharika told the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) first congregation that he was not a “solution” to their problems.

He has referred the students back to their councils which have in return proved to be clueless on how to handle the impasse.

More petitions

The Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) has also weighed in on the impasse by petitioning the Malawi Parliament.

During the presentation of the petition last week the coalition said it utilized rule 58 of the Parliamentary Standing Orders which allows citizens and interested groups to petition Parliament on issues of national interest and wants the Speaker to use his powers of his office to have the matters tabled in the House so that legislators can deliberate.

“Our call for Parliament to use its legislative, representative and oversight function roles to deliberate on the issue and in turn to impress on the relevant authorities to act on the matters,” Benedicto Kondowe, executive director of Csec told Nyasa Times.

“We only hope that the Speaker’s Office will give due attention to have the petition tabled during the Private Members business day which falls on Thursday,” he added.

The petition signed by Kondowe and the coalition’s Board Chairperson Julie Juma, faults government for “unsavoury political statements” which has led to university closure.

“As a country operating in a global village, the worrying development taking place in higher learning education institutions have the potential to further compromise on the standing of our education system in the global market,” the petitions reads in part.

In the petition, Csec argued that the reasons for closure of the universities have been obvious and predictable only that government is by-passing contact and dialogue in dealing with the impasse.

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Chisombezi
Guest

Enanu mukuikira ndemanga zopepera chifukwa mumamukhumba presedent wathu ndye munya muona

JK
Guest

Don’t you know that educated people are big fools, When you have degrees you think its your right to be there and not work hard for your people. So applies to this president is one of the big fool and has no brain. Un educated people think better. Malawians should stop thinking that because he s educated he will reduce there problems. Most of them are being employed by uneducated enterprenures

koma abale inu eeh
Guest
One of the problems we have in labor relations in this country is employees getting paid, by the employer rather than by the union, while on wild cat strikes like this one at MZUNI. This is unheard of even in socialist countries with very pro-labor laws. The practice of paying wild catters started by Muluzi, post dictatorship. That illiterate man. The practice just emboldens employees elsewhere: what do they have to lose, after all? Time to change the law in this area; then we’ll see very few illegal strikes. For the simple reason that very few striker families would be… Read more »
Bingu
Guest

Do not pile all blames on APM, parliamentarians as well. The current sitting would focused the following only:

1. University fees
2. Electricity problem
3. Water problem
4. Hunger
5. General economic problem
6. Insecurity
7. Nepotism

Basi

Chambe
Guest
I can’t agree more on the sleeping on the job.Imagine for the country to grow economically, electricity and running water should be there all the time. We are being informed of only long term solutions by 2020; really? When we inquire for reasons then we are told of low levels of water in summer and silt clogs in the rainy season for the past three years. Where are the quick short term solutions? We need electricity and we don’t care how. Enough is enough and we are fed up. We are on the time bomb that is to explode any… Read more »
Lt. Frazer Chakhaza
Guest
I feel sorry and ashamed that it has taken such a long time for those responsible with higher education to make a prudent decision on the “impasse surrounding the university fee hike saga”. You the whole university council and its chancellor are failing to come up with a solution? Is it a deliberate move so that Malawi should have less educated people of half baked graduates so that they can rule/manage them easily as it is said that it is difficult to rule/manage and manipulate an educated society. Can someone be responsible please. I hope parliament will make a decisive… Read more »
kaliyekha
Guest

peter mutu sukugeira

The Analyst
Guest
O…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..O Yes, we all appreciate the wishes of APM for the Council to be given more responsibilities, but is it hard to see that this fee-hike-university-closure responsibility is just too huge a task, for the Council? . . . Kodi inu, isnt the Chancellor the highest authority? Hence better placed to handle such an enormous task? . . . And is it not APM who directed that the fees be reduced by K50,000 across the board? Now, if the fee-impasse is not his responsibility, why did he make this directive in the first place? . . . Is it hard… Read more »
Kikolo
Guest

I like your comments The Analyst. God bless you.

Well explained.

The Analyst
Guest

Thanks a lot. May u also be and stay blessed.

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