By Angella Semu
BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s education rights body Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC) has asked the Minister of Education to gazette the commencement date for de-linking of UNIMA into three universities.
CSEC made an appeal in a letter to the Minister of Education signed by CSEC Executive Director Benedicto Kondowe.
In the letter, Kondowe said the recent decision by the University of Malawi
Council to axe the delinking process is unreasonable and has disregarded the 2019 Acts of Parliament aimed at repealing the University of Malawi Act, 1998 (Cap 30.02 of the Laws of Malawi).
The de-linking process that was approved in 2017 by UNIMA council and senate and parliament before it was signed into a law by the office of the President is supposed to disjoin UNIMA into three universities; Chancellor College to be the new UNIMA, College of Medicine and Kamuzu College to merge into Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHeS) while the Polytechnic to be Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS).
CSEC has opposed the council’s argument that the Senate does not hold the powers to recommend delinking of UNIMA within the existing law which contradicts with the provision of section 10 (1)(a) of the UNIMA Act which places the Council with a duty to consider the recommendations from the Senate.
Kondowe mentioned that the Council’s decision is misleading to the ministry, the Presidency, the National Assembly and the public and such decision was not supposed to be made after an order of the court or counsel from the Office of the Attorney General on the legal implications of the new law if there were doubts about the law.
CSEC emphasized on the need to gazette the commencement date which is in congruence with section 74 of the Constitution of Malawi and Tonse Alliance administration corresponding to the statement made by the State President, Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera on 4th September 2020 on the urge to increase enrolment in universities through construction of Inkosi Mbelwa University and
establishment of Kamuzu University of Health Sciences and Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences.
CSEC added that delinking of colleges from UNIMA was done before as shown by the current LUANAR which was initially Bunda college under UNIMA and by doing so, the college managed to increase enrolment, become more creative in terms of establishing new degree programmes and attain financial suitability.
CSEC has therefore given UNIMA council 7 days to revoke the decision to cancel delinking process starting from 22nd January 2021.