The High Court in Mzuzu has set March 12 2013 to hear the judicial review for the Mzuzu University vice-chancellor (VC) wrangle.
Professor Golden Msilimba, through lawyer George Kadzipatike, challenged the decision of Mzuzu University (Mzuni) in discrediting him as the appropriate person for the post and also the decision by President Joyce Banda to authorise the re-advertisement of the post.
Msilimba sought judicial review of the matter, which was granted by the Court on December 14 2012 and the parties were waiting from the court to set the date.
“Take notice that the High Court, Mzuzu District Registry has appointed the 12th day of March 2013 at 8:30 o’clock in the forenoon for hearing of the judicial review,” reads the notice signed by Mzuzu High Court registrar Dick Sankhulani.
Msilimba claims he came on top during the interviews the university conducted for the post, but was not picked and Mzuni went against a consent order that called for Msilimba’s results to be presented to President Joyce Banda for approval.
The university, instead of presenting the results, introduced new criteria for selection and discredited Msilimba as well as asking Banda to have the post re-advertised.
A memorandum to Banda signed by Mzuni Council chairperson Professor Brown Chimphamba seen by The Nation admitted that Msilimba had a superior performance and was suitable for appointment.
However, Chimphamba’s report further indicated that the council’s search committee missed out some aspects of assessment in the interviews and discredited Msilimba after the interviews had already been conducted and results were out.
Contrary to the consent order, the report went further to call on Banda to approve recommendation of re-advertising, which the President did.
In an affidavit, Msilimba wondered why he did not meet the criteria when he scored 4.1 out of 5. He also wondered how his score was no better than a person the council wanted to recommend, but had not undergone interviews. The recommendation was stopped by the court.
A memo dated June 7 2012 sourced by The Nation from Chimphamba to members of the Mzuni Council substantiates Msilimba’s claim. Chimphamba proposed that they should defer re-advertising the post and instead identify a senior academic or administrator within Malawi.
The notice has since been served to Racane Associates legal council for Mzuzu University and Kadzipatike.