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Saulos Chilima dates Unima Council on delinking

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Vice-President Saulos Chilima Tuesday met with members of University of Malawi (Unima) Council to discuss the resolution they made to suspend the process of delinking the university’s constituent colleges into stand-alone universities.

At its 117th extraordinary meeting on January 20 this year, the Unima Council suspended the unbundling process, saying the decision to delink the university— which was arrived at during its 102nd extraordinary meeting on July 10 2017— was ultra vires and not in line with the powers and functions that Unima Senate and Council have under sections 10 and 18 of the Unima Act (Cap 30:02).

The Unima Council resolved, during last month’s extraordinary meeting, that a functional review be conducted to guide council on the way forward in addressing areas which require improvement and to embrace aspirations towards enhancing efficiency of the university.

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Chilima’s spokesperson Pilirani Phiri confirmed that his boss met with Unima Council members Tuesday.

Phiri said the Vice President met with council members at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe in his capacity as Minister of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms.

He could, however, not divulge more information, only saying: “In due course, and after thorough consultations within the government hierarchy, a formal communication on the outcome of the meetings will be made to the media and the public.”

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Phiri said, at Tuesday’s meeting, tasks were given to stakeholders to further guide subsequent discussions, adding that a follow-up meeting was scheduled for next week.

According to Phiri, other officials who attended the meeting are Education Minister Agnes Nyalonje and other officials from the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms and the Department of Statutory Corporations.

Unima Council’s decision to halt the delinking of its four constituent colleges— namely The Polytechnic, Chancellor College, College of Medicine and Kamuzu College of Nursing— did not please Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC), which gave the Unima Council a seven -day ultimatum to rescind its decision.

CSEC argued that, instead of acting as a stumbling block, the Unima Council should facilitate the delinking process as wished by majority of stakeholders and as ratified by Parliament.

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