This open letter to Oxford University President, is written in the spirit that while President Mutharika is honored to speak at the auspicious Oxford University, back home in Malawi, it’s top College is closed due to lecturers sit-in.
President Mutharika’s topic: Aspiring politician”
We have regard of high esteem about your education institution. We do admire the capabilities you provide and faculties you offer at your university. You have produced highly educated intellects in various disciplines. Malawi among many nations, has benefited from your institution.
It is a great honour have our President invited at such a gathering of high calibre individuals. We appreciate and give thanks but not thanks.
Mr. President at Oxford, you may not be abreast with the situation on the ground in Malawi, you may be far from knowing the reality of circumstances in Malawi. Had you known, you would not want to discredit your institution by inviting our President.
For whatever reasons you have in inviting him, you must know that your reputation has been tarnished for allowing this President to speak at your institution.
Our argument is a list:
In Malawi the core of education cream, Chancellor College (aka Chanco), is closed, close to a year now.
In Malawi secondary and primary school teachers are three months in arreas in unpaid salaries, and other benefits. The President left Malawi the day the teachers started the sit-in protest.
In Malawi about MK1,000,000,000,000,000,000.00 was stolen under the watch of this very man, who happens to be our President.
During the era of his brother, as a minister of education, he failed the ministry. Education institutions, one of which is Chanco, was closed indefinitely. When he became the President, this very school got closed again.
Corruption is just the blanket that has covered the entire nation. From the President, his aides, ministers, permanent secretaries down to the messenger, are corrupt.
About 13 files of high-profile corruption cases involving ministers, are secretly hidden and kept under wraps.
One of the chief culprits, ex-agriculture minister George Chaponda, who is the President’s right-hand man, was two months ago found with local and foreign currency bills, the majority of which was the local currency, and United States dollar.
Just being found with such cash is a monetary offence, but George Chaponda, has not been questioned by the police or being held in cells.
Unashamedly the Government and dozens watch dog institutions, are scared to touch or arrest him, because he is a close confidante of the President.
Lawlessness is the order of the day. Selective justice, is what we have been grooved to entice.
Our economy on the ground and on paper, has fallen.
This petition argues why your institution invites a person whose country is in a mess, particularly the challenges in the education sector; why him to speak at a podium of an institution of high integrity?
Allowing President Peter Mutharika to speak at that occasion, you are encouraging him to continue doing bad in Malawi.
Unless if the word integrity has a different meaning in your institution’s encyclopedia.
You invite speakers of high morale ground, not vice versa. The speech of the President at your institution will mean continuous closure of tertiary education institutions in Malawi. Meaning the President will find no reason to address matters that forced it’s closure, instead boost his ego, being recognized at credible institution like yours.
Our country suffered heavily when one University conferred upon him the Doctorate Degree of Letters in Ethiopia, amid crisis of rampant hunger that devastated the entire country, due to drought.
The President had to use the meagre resources that could buy food supplements to feed the hungry and needy, but instead he hired a plane to fly him to Addis Ababa and back.
There was an outcry across the country, questioning the sincerity of the President.
Now your institution is repeating the same mistake to the troubled President , who cares less of the plight and needs of the country he rules.
This petition however, appeals to you and your institution, to boycott him and not allow him to speak on that platform of high integrity, till he solves and finds solutions to the education problem at home.
Your condition towards his speech may play a constructive mindset and behavior in him, leading to reopening of the university on the one hand, and the timely payment of teachers in Malawi on the other.
The wind of change arrived in Malawi and parts of Africa in the 1990s, because of your support when you started side-lining dictators in Africa. If you can do the same to corrupt and selfish leaders, corruption may end in Africa, particularly Malawi.
With hope and belief, we are aware this petition will not fall in deaf ears.
Signed by Saunders Jumah, LordDenning SC
The views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the Publisher or the Editor