Mzuni don to sue students for defamation

By Collins Mtika, NyasaTimes

The battle between students and senior dons at the embattled Mzuzu University (Mzuni) is far from abating and there is no loser and winner in sight. The latest is the intent by the acting Vice Chancellor Dr Orton Vunda Msiska to sue the Mzuzu University Student Representative Council (MUSREC) for defamation.

Msiska through lawyer Victor Gondwe of Tennyson and Associates intends to sue Charles Kajoloweka President, Chifundo Sohaya Vice President, Peter Chikweni Catering Director, and Mike Shaba speaker, Witness Alfonso Sports Director, Brown Msiska Deputy off Campus Director, Khwima Mkamanga, Deputy Special Needs Director and Memory Gumbo Deputy Sports Director.

Msiska claims that the Student Council insinuated in their memo of 14th June, 2011 to the Mzuzu University Council that he (Msiska) had failed to run Mzuni and that he is corrupt.

Msiska: Sues

The student also called for his immediate and unconditional resignation.

“The allegations… implied that our client lacks leadership skills and is very incompetent. Our client is a prominent figure and holds a very important position… by reasons of the position he is expected to be competent and of good character to manage the affairs of the Mzuni.

“By reason of the said memo, our client has been injured in his credit and reputation and has been brought into public scandal, hatred and contempt,” Gondwe said.

But the students also hit back through their lawyer George Kadzipatike of Jivason and Company saying the contents of the 14th June, 2011 memo constitutes a fair comment on issues affecting their academic life.

“We need to point out that the issues raised are concerns for the whole student community which has stayed home for over half a year, because Mzuni headed by you (Msiska) was not operating as expected,” Kadzipatike noted.

He said most of the issues raised in the student’s petition were true and the Mzuni management actually conceded as such during numerous meetings.

Kadzipatike also quashed allegations that the students had insinuated that the Msiska is corrupt.

“All our clients are suggesting is that… you should have been checking situations in the institution which smell corruption such as the construction of an Office Block which has taken 10 years when the Contractor was paid in full,” he said.

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