Power cuts that have affected the country disrupted President Peter Mutharika delivering his speech at the University of Malawi Chancellor College graduation ceremony.
The disruption lasted close to five minutes forcing Mutharika to stop as officials were seen banging their heads as to why the electricity cut off during the head of state speech.
When power returned Mutharika emphasised the spirit of patriotism saying Malawians have a greater responsibility to serve the country.
“It is not the time to ask what my country shall do for me. It is the time to ask what I shall do for my country. In the spirit of integrity, let us go and do to others the best that we wish was done to us. In the spirit of hard work and self-sacrifice, let us dedicate ourselves to serve our country more than serve our personal interests.”
He urged the graduates to reflect seriously about the life that lies ahead and to go forward with more decisive determination quoting Eleanor Roosevelt “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Mutharika also addressed the issue of delinking the university: “As a University, we made a decision to delink the Colleges and make them universities. Now, it is time for us to assume serious responsibility of our decision. We must be ready for the change. I want to see Chancellor College, The Polytechnic, and College of Medicine together with Kamuzu College of Nursing become universities.
He said the goal is to create more university space for Malawians, cultivate a culture of competitiveness in public universities and see growth and variety in university education.
“Every University must find its identity and competitive edge. Every University must find its spirit. The spirit of the University lies in its ideas and character. Every University must define its character. And every University must define its place in the world.
On when the delinking process will fully materialise Mutharika said becoming a University is not an automatic process.
“You can name yourself “a university” without becoming one, if you don’t meet what it takes to become a university. The law and the statues will not make you a university automatically. You must earn your status of being a University on the international stage.”
APM commended the University for solving making sure the problem of boycotting classes has declined as well as its refusal to be dragged into partisan politics.
“After the Election, we have seen some political parties waging a campaign of violence. The intentions of the violence we have seen are as follows: to reject all democratic processes and rule of law to seek political goals using violence; to undermine security and create a state of lawlessness in order to persuade you that this Government has failed, to create a sense of chaos and take away our peace,” he said.