Malawians have strongly opposed some of the proposed names of Universities in the country following a decision taken by President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika to delink constituent colleges from the University of Malawi (UNIMA).

Tuesday afternoon the social media was awashed with reports from State House that President Mutharika has approved the unbundling of UNIMA.

The development means the four constituent colleges of Unima will sonnet or later become standalone universities.

Polytechnic will now merge with College of Accountancy to form a separate university.

Chancellor College will combine with Domasi College of Education, Bunda College will merge with Natural Resources, [it has already merged as Lilongwe University of Natural Resources-Luanar] and the nursing courses of College of Health Sciences will go to Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN) while remaining courses would go to College of Medicine to form a university.

But what took Malawians by storm is the name given to the said unbundled college, the centre of debate being the name given to Polytechnic which will be called “University of Chichiri”

Many people have described the name as awkward, saying it is associated with Chichiri prison.

Former Chairperson of Media Council of Malawi Thom Khanje wrote: “The other names are OK but pa “University of Chichiri” pokhapo alephela. Just call it University of Commerce (UNICO). Chichiri, as an institutional name, is more associated with the prison or the primary or secondary schools.”

Concurring with Khanje’s remarks Wonder Msiska , a veteran journalist wrote: “Maina avuta kapena atha kumene…eish..Just because there is another University called Blantyre does not mean that you can not just include city to yours and still be named Blantyre..that is Blantyre City University while enawo are named Blantyre University. I know a place somewhere where there is Birmingham University and Birmingham City University in one city and these are two different universities altogether.”

On his part, Onjezani Kenani wrote: “To be clear, while I welcome the delinking of the constituent colleges, I will never change my CV to indicate that I attended the University of Chichiri (the new name of The Polytechnic). I went to the University of Malawi, period. .”

Meanwhile debate of the matter continues.

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