Sunday, June 5, 2011

Unima students dressed down Dausi, warned Mutharika of false advisors

i wrote this story for Nyasa Times... so read it in that context...
As Nyasa Times gathers more details of Saturday’s roundtable meeting between government and University of Malawi students, it has emerged that the students cautioned Mutharika to be wary of false advice from people looking for personal gains.

An inside source who opted for anonymity said the students were referring to Nicholas Dausi who was using the meeting to earn marks in Mutharika’s presence.

“Dausi picked on Lonjezo Sithole [Chanco Students union leader], accusing him of escorting Undule Mwakasungula to the UN to deliver ‘false’ complaints and allegations against Mutharika’s government,” said the source.

The outspoken Lonjezo Sithole protested, citing that he doesn’t even have a passport. The dressing down then begun, led by Polytechnic’s revolutionary Vice President, Victor Mandiwe who told Dausi that he was raising an issue that was irrelevant to the meeting.

The much Phlegmatic Evance Morra, then braved the numerical disadvantage the students were in to tell Mutharika that some people were ill-advising him for personal gains. Morra also suggested the colleges be opened in July to allow for non-residential students to secure accommodation and for the rest of the students to get into school mood.

“Dausi never spoke for the rest of the meeting and when we were leaving we overheard Peter Mutharika [Minister of Education] telling Dausi that he had goofed,” said our source.

The highly charged meeting saw Unima lecturers boycotting it for not being formally invited and saw tempers flaring with the student leaders being called names. The meeting resolved that Mutharika would soon issue a statement to address the issue of Academic freedom.

According to a statement monitored on the state-controlled broadcaster, MBC, Mutharika has assured the lectures of Academic freedom and has directed that the colleges of Chanco and Poly be opened on the 4th of July.

Meanwhile unofficial reports indicate that lecturers are ready to resume teaching and the only questions being raised by students are those of stationery allowance and how the academic calendar will shape out.

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