President Peter Mutharika has dissolved the Council of the University of Malawi for failing to resolve labour dispute in the university.
A press statement issued by Presidential Press Secretary, Mgeme Kalilani, Monday indicates that the council will be reconstituted soon.
According to the statement, Mutharika has directed government to mediate in the labour dispute between the Unima Academic Staff and the Council of the University.
“Consequent to the President’s directive, government invited and met the University Council, management and representatives of the academic staff to agree on the steps that will ensure that Chancellor College opens with every expedition possible. The President hereby expresses his desire that the involved parties will reach a common understanding and re-open Chancellor College,” reads the statement.
The task force will be facilitated by the Minister of Education, Science and Technology and the Minister of Justice and Constitution Affairs.
Others who will be attending the discussions include Secretary to Treasury, Secretary to Education, Secretary to Labour and Manpower Development and Comptroller of Statutory Corporations.
The statement said Mutharika has confidence in the taskforce and the process it has agreed to resolve the labour dispute in the university.
However, education activist, Benedicto Kondowe of the Civil Society Education Coalition said what is more important is for the President to reconstitute the University Council as soon as possible as it is crucial in the re-opening of Chancellor College.
“The taskforce alone will not achieve anything. If the President is serious about resolving issues in the University of Malawi, he should reconstitute the University Council as soon as possible. Malawians are waiting to see who the new members of the council are and it will be proper for that to happen in a week so that the task force starts its meetings as soon as possible. If the President will delay then the council will not be represented in the discussions, yet it is a key stakeholder,” Kondowe said.
Mutharika has recently been criticised for failing to use his position as Unima Chancellor to help in resolving the labour dispute that has led to the closure of the Chancellor College for about five months.
During the period, dialogue involving concerned stakeholders has failed to re-open the college to allow students in class.
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