The clock has started ticking. Eyes of those providing checks and balances peeled. At least after four days and some hours the newly enacted COMSU office bearers can be put to question as to what they have achieved or done in the elapsed time but possibly seeking the immediate steps would be fairest and appropriate.
The Guest of Honor, Dr. Mallewa (the vice principal), pulled in earlier than the audience, uncharacteristic of many politicians, pastors and some academicians but representative of businessmen.
The largely awaited event commenced with remarks from the moderator who was or is the vice chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Gift Treighcy Banda. She was elegantly dressed. The well decorated occasion began with an opening prayer offered by the out-going male UMSU representative, Tionge Sikwese. The first to make his speech was the former President, Mr. Beyard Woo Kachidowo. He took almost half the time of the proceedings of the night (apart from dinner time) at least enjoying the podium for the last time as the President of COMSU.
Woo highlighted what he and his crew achieved during the time he assumed the mantle of leadership and of course during the interim period of Mr. Makiya. He vaunted of how they managed to represent COM and maintained the reputation of the most respected and civilized institution in the UNIMA and beyond.
It was remarkable to learn that a number of programs were organized to impart knowledge in areas like success, leadership and mind development. The outgoing COMSU also donated to Mpemba reformatory Center. Under the 2016-2017 COMSU-ship more than 40 students were granted access to sit for exams while the financial problem was being sorted out by the Loan board.
He immensely thanked the outgoing team for being cooperative and as it holds true, he called upon the incoming COMSU to govern with democracy, integrity and honor. He emphasized the need for COMSU leaders to involve students in every undertaking that affect COM students. He said, ‘students believe in you and expect that you carry their views and present them as they are to authorities. Do not be afraid’. In his explanation he feared that the authorities may have a different perspective other than the reality on the ground if information was to be twisted. This could adversely affect the students who entrusted the work to the new COMSU.
The former leader advised the baby COMSU to always seek conflict resolution urgently and to shun conflicts at all costs as they derail progress. He warned, ‘there is no reason to disturb academic calendar because students are demonstrating on issues that contact and dialogue, with great reasoning and powerful negotiation could solve’.
Of most weight also, he advocated for the fighting spirit for needy students lacking fees; having one poor meal a day et cetera. He cited UNIMA policies such as no fees no registration and no exams as a vivid symptom of a premonition of tough times for students.
Mr. Beyard Kachidowo had a lot to say. Remember he had the luxury of time. He further intimated that the positions the new COMSU members are holding shouldn’t serve as a CV decorator but rather as a podium for service to students.
As typical of politicians, he culturally rested his case after very few remarks made.
At exactly 8:05 pm on Saturday 8th April 10, 2017, Mr. Ngulinga was taking his oath. In his maiden speech, the newly enacted COMSU leader campaigned for unity amongst the fellow COMSU affiliates. He said ‘the moment has come that all students should be united irrespective of their program of study, manner of entry, religious affiliations et cetera’.
He invited the administration to be in very good relationship with COM student leaders. The man dressed in black suit and blue neck tie stressed the need for administration to always involve COMSU in decision making on matters affecting students.
His speech sounded like part of his campaign speech. It is everyone’s belief that the call for unity is not mere rhetoric
As history has a tendency of repeating itself, its everyone’s belief that we won’t see the COMSU 1 crisis as was eye-witnessed in 2016.
The new leader seemed confident and his speech was short.
The Vice Principal speaking as the Guest of Honor, he recommended to the new leaders to be level-headed, calm, resilient, selfless, patient and balanced. The composed Guest of Honor emphasized the need for rational decision making among COMSU members and to stay away from basing decisions on emotions or mere speculation.
He said ‘sometimes you have to make decisions not popular, but for minority’s sake. Embrace the spirit of professionalism and be of highest integrity. Being in these positions it’s a great honor. Enjoy the positions but you need the all-inclusive support of the students and administration. Strive to leave a legacy and let people look back and say we had good leaders’.
He advised the student body to take initiatives such as holding dinners and to always knock on his door whenever in need.
At the summit of the event was the swearing in time. It started with the highest office, seconded by the vice president then randomly finished the rest.
It was Mtendere Hara’s time that everyone shouted ‘time to go oversees’ as the international director. The other force to reckon with was Lombani Thindwa (Major one as is popularly known by the COM community). Everyone was on top of their voice shouting ‘Major do it!!’. To spice up it all was Major one’s closing prayer that catapulted the audience into the realms of the spirit sending chills down people’s spine.’
As the epitome of hardworking and persistence was Wilson Dairi, who after all the hurdles he faced to attain his seat in COMSU managed to secure a certificate as the Entertainment Director. He couldn’t suppress his excitement as he had to take photos with the Guest of Honor in different modes while the audience laughed.
New UMSU Reps, COMSU executives et al were sworn in and others have since started working.
In attendance from the administration were the Vice Principal Dr. Mallewa, Assoc. Prof. Chiwoza Bandawe (the Patron for UMSU), Assoc. Prof. Lampiao (the former Dean), Mr. Matululu (the acting Dean of Students), Dr. Namboya (Dean of Anesthesia), Mr. Tarimo Nesto (physiotherapy lecturer), and the Secretary of the Dean of Students, Ms. Dzamalala.
Respect is due to the Electoral Commission team which was chaired by Mr. Victor Saidi Mithi for making the transition process smooth and also to the organizers of the inauguration ceremony.
Wishing the new COMSU leadership a prosperous time as they serve their fellow students.