A spirited campaign by the Chief Executive Officer of the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) Dr Matilda Munthali to flush out all staff that do not come from the northern region is hampering the Council’s work and making such staff watch their backs and utterances for fear of dismissals, Nyasa Times has established.
The first casualty of Munthali’s tribalistic warfare is the former Chief Procurement Officer Elwing Kondwani, who resigned on November 7, 2014, barely two months into the job.
Munthali gladly endorsed his resignation despite the fact that Kondwani was supposed to serve a month in lieu of notice.
Our investigations revealed that Kondwani threw in the towel because of a continuous systematic campaign by Munthali to marginalise officers from other regions by among other things denying them support and alienating them from the decision making process thereby frustrating them.
Kondwani comes from Chiradzulu.
The Malawi government recently established the Council as a regulatory body for higher education and specifically tasked it with monitoring, registering and accrediting universities and academic programmes.
President Peter Mutharika said the major challenge for the council is to ensure that no university student, whether at a private or a public university, has a sub-standard education.
But his government’s vision for higher education is facing stiff head winds because Munthali is resolute in pushing out non northerners from the Council hence steering the body from its explicit legal mandate.
NCHE Corporate Service Manager Dingani Soko while confirming the departure of Kondwani for greener pastures, assured Nyasa Times that his office is working hard to ensure that all employees regardless of district or region of origin are treated equally and fairly.
“I do not see the basis for nepotism here,” Soko said.
Soko comes from Mzimba.
However, NCHE Board Chairperson Professor Moira Blessings Chimombo contradicted Soko saying she could not comment on the matter claiming she did not have information on the abrupt departure of Kondwani.
“I cannot answer questions premised on falsehoods,” Chimombo said in an emailed response without clarifying the issue or giving further details.
When contacted for comment Munthali asked for a questionnaire but did not respond despite being sent over 10 emails.
However, our investigations also reveal that Munthali is never short of controversy.
When she worked at the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST), where was managing the National Health Research Initiative (NHRI) grant, she also had challenges working with officers from other regions.
She doled a majority of the scholarships to northerners.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :