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Goodall Gondwe, Livingstonia Synod spar on quota

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By Mandy Pondani:

Tension is brewing between Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central African Presbyterian and Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe, following the latter’s recent remarks on quota system.

Speaking in Nkhata Bay District on Sunday at a political rally which President Peter Mutharika addressed, Gondwe said the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration has abolished the system through provision of various university scholarships from which Northern Region residents have been the main beneficiaries.

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He also claimed that Livingstonia Synod officially commended the Mutharika administration for dealing away with the system.

But synod general secretary, Reverend Levi Nyondo, has described Gondwe’s remarks as lies.

“The north is passionate about education and you [Mutharika] have heaped on us scholarships. You have silenced everyone who made noise about quota because, if you were a champion of quota system, you wouldn’t give out all these scholarships. That’s the end of the quota system right there. It is a lie to say quota system still exists.

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“Even the clergy acknowledged that we have abolished quota system. It is a lie that the DPP administration is implementing the policy. It is them who are champions of the system because they neither made efforts to end it nor condemned it in any manner,” Gondwe said.

But Nyondo said the synod’s position has not changed on the issue of quota system, adding that the Mutharika administration is still using it when selecting students into institutions of higher learning.

He said the quota system calls for policy changes in order to ensure that deserving Malawians have access to tertiary education.

But Gondwe stood his ground, saying the fact that one reverend is failing to appreciate the government’s efforts on the issue does not mean the whole synod is “blind” to the progress.

In recent months, UTM’s Saulos Chilima and Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party have cast quota system in negative light.

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