As Chancellor College remains closed due to a lecturers’ strike, President Peter Mutharika will this Friday address students at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
According to a statement from government, Mutharika has been invited to speak to Oxford students on the Global Access to Education, Youth and Women Empowerment.
However, a list of events published on the university’s website and seen by Malawi24 on Monday afternoon does not list Mutharika as one of the speakers at the institution this month.
But speaking at Kamuzu International Airport before leaving on Monday, Mutharika said his address at the reputable university is part of his two-part visit to Europe that will start today in Brussels, Belgium.
In Brussels, Mutharika will hold bilateral talks with President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker before meeting managing director of International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde.
The Malawi leader will also hold talks with European Union (EU) commissioner for trade Cecilia Malmstrom.
State House director of communications Bright Molande said Mutharika’s trip will “bring back huge fortunes for the people of Malawi.”
He said grants which will be discussed during Mutharika’s trip include the 100 million euros for Lulima Project, 70 million euros for nutrition and 15 million euros for financing the National Authorising Office at the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development.
Mutharika is also scheduled to be a speaker at the influential European Development Days meeting.
Meanwhile, Mutharika’s decision to address students at Oxford University while the Chancellor College impasse is yet to be resolved has kicked up a storm.
Writing on Facebook, writer and social commentator Onjezani Kenani wondered if Mutharika is really the Chancellor of the University of Malawi.
“It does not make sense to me, this travel by our president to address Oxford University students on global access to education when Chancellor College remains closed for six months. By the way, is he Chancellor of the University of Malawi for real or it’s just a title? What, exactly, does he do to show that he is Chancellor? Does he provide any leadership at all on matters affecting the direction of the university? Letting his students rot at home, is that leadership?” wrote Kenani.
Chancellor College has been closed for six months now as lecturers at the college are refusing to go to work in order to force government to increase their salaries.