For the first time since its first congregation in 2010, Catholic University of Malawi (Cunima) held their 9th graduation ceremony on Saturday without representation of senior government officials.
Chairperson of Cunima University Council Bishop Martin Mtumbuka said “all invitations were done as usual, but they were committed”.
“The answer is very simple: Most of officers who could have been here are in New York because of the UN General Assembly,” said Mtumbuka, adding that: “They sent apologies”.
However, Secretary for Education Lonely Magareta said “people were invited, but they were busy with other programmes”.
“It was just a question of attending, not playing anything. There was representation from the [Education] division. So, there was government representation,” she explained.
She added that “if they [officials from the division] were not recognised then it is up to the organisers”.
“But if you talk about government… if we send a head teacher, it is government; we send a primary education adviser [PEA], a district education manager [DEM]; that is government; a division manager, that is government.
“A principal secretary [PS] or a minister cannot be everywhere. It is not just there [Cunima] we send representation even in others,” she said.
During the previous ceremonies, principal secretaries always attended. For instance Patrick Kabambe attended the one in 2013 and 2014, while Mcphail Magwira attended in 2012.