Two Unima principals’ contracts not renewed
University of Malawi has bade farewell to two of its principals— Grant Kululanga of The Polytechnic and Mwapatsa Mipando of the College of Medicine (CoM).
In an email address to fellow members of staff, Kululanga says he left office after the expiry of his contract on August 20, 2020.
“To this end, Dr Nancy Chitera, Vice Principal, has been appointed acting Principal of The Polytechnic. I am currently preparing handover notes before the end of this month. I wish to thank all members of management, staff and students for the support you gave me and urge each one of you to accord her (Chitera) support which you rendered to me,” reads the email in part.
Kululanga has described his tenure as productive and successful.
“I have contributed in terms of teaching and learning, research and outreach activities, bringing the institution to a higher level than where it was with state-of-the-art equipment and infrastructure that will attract both local and international students. I have done part two contracts plus a two-year extension. I believe I have done my part,” he says.
A separate memo from CoM, which acting Registrar Stuart Chirambo has signed, indicates that Mcpherson Mallewa is now acting Principal, replacing Mipando.
However, there seems to be discontent among some members of staff at the college over the manner in which Mipando has been made to leave office.
An anonymous writeup indicates that Mipando was not accorded enough time to hand over the office as well as ongoing programmes linked to his office including the issue of university delinking.
“Dr Mipando’s contract expired in July last year. In the same month (July 2019) he wrote the University Council expressing interest to [sic] have the contract renewed. The University Council responded more than a year later—on Friday this week—advising him to leave immediately and hand over everything to an acting principal by the end of this month.
“Unima is still in the process of delinking, which may be finalised soon, as far as we have been updated, and incumbent office bearers have been very closely involved in this process. Such sudden changes may again affect these delinking processes,” reads the write-up.
But another source within the university wonders why Mipando continued working for more than a year without having his contract renewed.
“It was not good that he did not hear from University Council for a year. But, then, was he supposed to continue working? We have information that these principals who are moving now had convinced the past Unima Council to maintain them after their contracts [expired] so that they could push for the delinking and become vice chancellors. This has met with the fresh presidential election and is not happening,” she said.