Pax Academica
Bulletin on Academic Freedom in Africa

Categories

Home page > In Short > Stop the abuses on academic freedom at the University of Malawi

19 December 2011

Stop the abuses on academic freedom at the University of Malawi

The community of African researchers in social sciences has acknowledged and is closely watching threats and intimidation of academic staff members of the University of Malawi, namely Dr. Blessing Chinsinga, Associate Professor of the Department of Political and Administrative Studies at Chancellor College. Professor Chinsinga was summoned to the Zomba Police for interrogation over the contents of one of his class lectures in which he gave examples of reasons for popular protest in Egypt (...)

The community of African researchers in social sciences has acknowledged and is closely watching threats and intimidation of academic staff members of the University of Malawi, namely Dr. Blessing Chinsinga, Associate Professor of the Department of Political and Administrative Studies at Chancellor College. Professor Chinsinga was summoned to the Zomba Police for interrogation over the contents of one of his class lectures in which he gave examples of reasons for popular protest in Egypt and Tunisia. This constitutes a violation of several dispositions of the Republic of Malawi Constitution, which inter alias provides for academic freedom.

The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa is an organization that promotes academic freedom in African universities. The Council struggles for African academics and researchers have the best working conditions without any external constraint. These requirements include not only worthy of working conditions on campus but also to express their thoughts and conduct teaching and research on topics of their choice. CODESRIA cannot remain indifferent to threats and intimidation acts committed to members of its community. Such silence would be contrary to the principles of academic freedom and solidarity for our organization which fights since its inception in 1973. No university can be developing without academic freedom be guaranteed. These freedoms are the basis on which researchers and academics can take their social responsibility.

In recognition of his contribution to the development of the organization and to the advancement of knowledge production in Africa, CODESRIA was about to organize a homage to one of the greatest African economists, Professor Thandika Mkandawire . This event was scheduled to take place in his home country Malawi. The recent developments concerning Academic Freedom in Malawi gives reason to CODESRIA to relocate the event to another country, where its members can be sure not to be persecuted because of their ideas.

Furthermore, CODESRIA and the entire community of African social researchers are urging the Malawi authorities to take urgent steps to ensure that academic freedom are respected and guaranteed for our colleagues at the University of Malawi, including the claims of the Chancellor College Academic Staff to assure them in writing that no such actions shall be repeated by any official authority, or agent connected with the office of the Police. The Council wishes to assure its solidarity with colleagues in the struggle for a successful university and heavily involved in the development of Malawi and the African continent.

Share it

Comments

3540 Forum messages