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Peter Mutharika justifies Mzuni graduation absence

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By Feston Malekezo:

Mzuzu University (Mzuni) Chancellor, President Peter Mutharika, will not attend Mzuni graduation ceremony scheduled for Friday at Mzuzu Stadium as he is pre-occupied on Thursday and Friday at State House, his aide has said.

Presidential spokesperson, Mgeme Kalilani, said Mutharika has delegated Mzuni Vice-Chancellor, John Saka, to preside over the 20th graduation ceremony.

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“The President has an equally important scheduled government function to attend to on Thursday and on Friday this week at the palace. That is why he will miss the Mzuzu University graduation ceremony,” Kalilani said Tuesday.

Reacting to what other sections of the society have been suggesting that the President is more concerned with Southern Region activities, Kalilani said the President’s attendance to government functions depended on circumstances.

“Those that choose to look at everything that the government or the President does in terms of which region is involved may wish to know that the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College also had a graduation a couple of weeks ago and the President did not attend that ceremony. Just like in the Mzuzu University case, he delegated his Vice- Chancellor Prof Kalenga Saka to preside over the ceremony,” he said.

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Meanwhile, the graduating students’ representative, Happy Mvula, has said they have suspended their plans to drag the school’s management to court over delays to hold the graduation.

The students filed complaints to the Office of the Ombudsman to help them on the matter.

“We are happy that the day is finally here. It is the Office of the Ombudsman that helped us to negotiate with the council to hold the graduation ceremony within this month. The students were greatly affected by the delay because some have missed education and job opportunities,” he said.

The graduation ceremony falls on the day Human Rights Defenders Coalition has organised demonstrations across the country, raising fear among the graduating students.

Over 1,000 students are expected to graduate from programmes.

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