Acting University of Malawi (Unima) Vice-Chancellor has said government’s failure to provide funds for delinking of the university is affecting implementation of activities in the delinking process and has since asked for an allocation of K5 billion towards the same.
Professor Al Mtenje told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament that there was a request for a K9 billion delinking budget, which was later revised to K5 billion to ensure a smooth delinking process.
The money was meant to be shared among the reconstituted Unima, and the newly-established Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (Mubas) and the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (Kuhes) to help in creating new executive positions, rebranding and coming up with strategic plans and other activities.
However, the government has not provided the resources’ which he said has heavily affected implementation of some of the activities in the delinking process which saw Chancellor College becoming Unima, The Malawi Polytechnic assuming the Mubas tag and College of Medicine merging with Kamuzu College of Nursing to become Kuhes.
“There are resources that are needed to finance the whole process of delinking. If the process has to be smooth those resources have to be released so that it can meet issues of recruitment of staff, management of staff, preparation of strategic plans, marketing and rebranding of institutions and indeed the whole idea of new institutions requires further resources,” said Mtenje.
He said the three delinked universities are using other means of generating revenue to support the delinking process..
Mtenje added that the universities are operating using subvention, which is only enough to cater for salaries.
PAC chairperson Shadreck Namalomba said the government has to allocate funds to ensure that the activities in the delinking are handled.
He said the process is ongoing and the government needs to come on board right now and assist the universities.
“If the government does not provide the resources, we risk having institutions that are not properly structured governance wise, institutions that are not prepared in terms of mindset change, institutions where people are not prepared to accept new ways of doing things in those institutions. So, ours is an appeal to the Ministry of Finance to consider that. The [2022/23] budget is coming and we call on the Ministry of Finance to provide enough resources to universities to undertake the delinking process,” he said.
Parliament earlier approved delinking of Unima which was split into three universities to ensure the tertiary institutions are more efficient and to create more space for learners.