- Southern Africa
- Corruption - Education - Governance
President accused of nepotism detrimental to national education
Malawi president Binguwa Mutharika has refuted an article in Thursday’s edition of the Daily Times which alleged that the 2007 Malawi School Certificate of Education Examinations were leaked because they were printed by a publishing company belonging to the president’s daughter.
In a statement issued in Lilongwe Thursday, the State House Press Office said it was illogical for the newspaper to quote "outburst" by the opposition Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) only member of parliament, Loveness Gondwe’s allegations that the examinations were printed at the Guardian newspaper which is owned by Miss Duwa Mutharika.
Gondwe told parliament Wednesday that the examinations leaked because government awarded the lucrative deal to Mutharika’s daughter who had no experience how to handle sensitive jobs like examinations.
She alleged that senior government officials bulldozed the Ministry of Education to award the contract to print the question papers to the Guardian.
But State House Press Officer Chikumbutso Mtumodzi said the Guardian only procured its printing press in March 2007 and by the time the examinations were being printed the Guardian printing press was yet to be planted.
"In fact the Guardian printing press is yet to start doing commercial jobs, including printing the Guardian newspaper itself," he said.
Mtumodzi warned the Daily times against rushing to print unsubstantiated allegat ions without checking with the printers.
He also warned Miss Gondwe against abusing her parliamentary immunity to make criminal allegations against innocent people. "Loveness Gondwe’s allegations were simply aimed at tarnishing the good image of President Mutharika and his immediate family members," he said.
A probe report on the leakage fingered a South African printer, Uniprint, as being responsible for the botched examinations.
Embarrassed by the scam, President Mutharika last year launched an inquiry into the leakage.
The students had to resit the senior secondary school certificate examinations, the equivalent of the Ordinary Level of the General Certificate on Education (GCE), to avoid candidates who were exposed to the leaked papers to have an unfair advantage over their colleagues.
Dozens of people were arrested while selling the exam papers, and the driver, who was identified as McKnight Kaliza, was prosecuted and jailed for over two years. Panapress .