President Peter Mutharika who is also Chancellor of the University of Malawi (Unima) on Wednesday snubbed the invitation to attend the institution’s congregation.
Unima spokesman Peter Mitunda announced on August 4 that Mutharika would preside over the graduation ceremony.
But on Wednesday Presiden Mutharika stayed away as Vice Chancellor , Prof John Saka stepped in to preside over the ceremony at Chancellor College’s Great Hall, home of academic freedom in Zomba.
Mitunda said State House informed Unima that Mutharika will not come because he was attending to “other matters.”
During the ceremony, Unima finalised the process of delinking Bunda College of Agriculture through a congregation which saw the very last cohort of students that were selected to the college under the university, graduating.
In 2012, Parliament passed the bill which successfully delinked Bunda College of Agriculture from the University of Malawi, to form the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources but students who enrolled before the legislation’s approval continued to receive degrees under the university of Malawi.
Vice-chancellor for Luanar, Professor George Kanyama Phiri, commended Unima for the well planned and professionally managed four-year transition for Bunda College, saying it has helped Luanar to successfully stand on its own.
He said: “We are starting our own congregations this year but the efforts that Unima has played on the development of our institution cannot be overemphasised.”
A total of 696 graduated during the congregation whereas seven of the graduands were awarded doctorate degrees.