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Anti-quota crusade rocked by divisions

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SAIDI — We cannot work with two groups

Quota Must Fall Movement has accused Church and Society of CCAP Livingstonia Synod of hijacking the campaign towards the abolition of ‘quota’ system of selecting students into public schools.

At a press briefing held in Mzuzu Tuesday, spokesperson of the group, Reverend William Mumba, said the movement was worried that further dialogue with the government on their demands are being continued with Church and Society.

Mumba accused Church and Society Executive Director, Moses Mkandawire, of apparently hijacking the process on the pretext that he was the first chairperson of the Quota Must Fall Movement despite receiving a vote of no confidence from the movement’s members.

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He alleged that the government is using divide-and-rule tactic in continuing to dialogue with Church and Society despite being notified about the change in leadership of the movement.

“Regrettably, Church and Society has unashamedly and illegally appropriated the agenda hatched by Quota Must Fall Movement and is using it for personal aggrandizement, thereby derailing efforts of the movement by claiming that they have championed the abolishment of the evil system.

“The former chairperson [Mkandawire] and secretary general of the movement [Dan Msowoya], who both received votes of no confidence from the members that elected them, continue to hijack the [movement] agenda equivocally with a view to confuse the masses…,” he said.

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Mumba then claimed that over 90 Members of Parliament have rallied behind the ‘Quota Must Fall Movement’ in a bid to present a Private Members Bill in the next meeting of Parliament on abolishment of quota system.

At a separate press briefing jointly organised by the Ministry of Education, led by Principal Secretary Justin Saidi, and Livingstonia Synod led by Moderator Douglas Chipofya and General Secretary Levi Nyondo, they all said dialogue is progressing well.

Saidi said they are in talks with Church and Society because it is organised and has shown commitment to dialogue.

“We cannot work with two groups. Their issues are the same. If they come in good faith, we will work with them. We already started with Mr Mkandawire who was chairperson of the movement, and then the church joined. We are going in the right direction,” he said.

Earlier, Mkandawire said that he is working with the government as an employee of Synod of Livingstonia which has been advocating the abolition of the ‘quota’ policy since 2009.

Meanwhile, in a joint statement, the two sides say they have agreed that national secondary schools places will be being allocated on merit across the country regardless of proximity and economic cost.

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