Monday, August 15, 2016

Has The President Lost His Influence?

President Peter Mutharika must be a man who does not follow up on his own words.
What happened to the meaning of "immediate" or, by extension, 'effectively'?
The President, the other day other than this day [and that must be two weeks ago], ordered that Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, be opened "immediately". This was after representatives of the students, met with Mutharika as one way of ironing out differences arising out of the University Council's decision to hike fees by over 100 percent for generic students, and 200 percent for mature entry students, depending on college.
Days down the line, the generic students are not back on campus at Chancellor College. So, instead of being on campus effective the presidential order, they are effectively sliding down the academic calendar.
Time without number, it has been opined that the University of Malawi is one of the most unpredictable universities in Africa.
Come to think of it. Two years after Malawi attained democracy in 1994, University of Malawi lecturers went on strike. They wanted a pay hike.
That disagreement stretched for months, leaving students academically stranded.
From then, it has been one disruption after another, until things went haywire under former president, the late Bingu wa Mutharika's administration. The year was 2011.
One innocent lecturer gave the example of the Arab Uprising as an example of people power and all hell broke loose because one Malawi Police Officer student in that class informed his boss, then Inspector General of Police, Peter Mukhito.
As they say, the rest is history. University of Malawi constituent colleges went eleven months without students, lecturers doing what they know best; and without hope!
The incumbent president was Minister of Education then. Instead of attending to the issues at hand, he flew to the United States of America for holidaying, hoping that the problems would sort themselves out.
This time, he has given an order for Chancellor College to be opened. Students at the College of Medicine are on holiday. And, so, are those from The Polytechnic.
But Chancellor College students are supposed to be on campus.
And are not.
'Immediacy' delayed and nobody understands why.
Back to Square One, perhaps.

No comments: