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Thursday, September 29, 2022

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Saint Andrews board gags media, clings to power

MBEWE-Clinging to power

St Andrews International Primary School (SAIPS) has obtained an injunction, gagging three online publications from reporting about the power struggle happening at the school as beleaguered Board Chairman, ex-politician, Lance Mbewe is clinging to his post.

Court documents we have seen, the board has taken an injunction against Malawi Voice, Nyasa Times and Malawi 24 from publishing stories about the power struggle at the institution.

The whole issue started when the disgraced former UDF Vice President Lance Mbewe and another board member walked out of a meeting with parents and resigned on 5 August 2022 after failing to resolve various issues raised by the parents over the management of the school.

Our investigations have revealed that a Mr. Mohammed Tayub, the Vice Chairman of the board of trustees stabbed members of the concerned parents in the back when he went to the board members and narrated a different version from what had transpired with the parents at the meeting.

As matter-of-fact Mr. Tayub, alongside Mr Karani Savjan and others, went on to force Lance Mbewe not to resign as Chair but instead to rescind his decision. He then later on wrote the Chair of the concerned parents, Dr Luis Gadama , that Mr. Lance Mbewe’s resignation was not accepted by the Board.

The board of the school is ‘practically illegal’ because the school is still under the Designated School Board and its board can only be appointed by the Government. But the board is still clinging on to power by forcing Mbewe not to resign.

Ironically, the same Mr. Muhammed Tayub and Mr Karani Savjani and other board members accepted the resignation of a Mr Kenwell Khumbanyiwa without any qualms.

This duplicity and double standards and the ferocity with which the board is clinging on to power in a school board which is voluntary has heightened speculation of some very deep-seated dark schemes at the school and is even attracting the attention of other crime busting government agencies.

One parent who did not want to be named said the current injunction by the board on the three online news platforms is evidence ‘of the determination to hold on to power by all means by an otherwise illegal board of trustees.’

Our deep investigation of the issues at SAIPS have revealed that the genesis of the problem is the ‘inappropriate relationship’ of the Headteacher Ms. Naomi J. N. Charles with a Swimming Instructor Mr. Walasi which forced the husband Mr. Charles to leave their matrimonial home and seek refuge somewhere else.

Our investigations reveal that Ms Naomi Charles cut short her holiday in the UK to come back and ‘deal’ with those suspected to have revealed her affair with the Swimming Instructor.

Surprisingly, the board seems to back the Headmistress in the saga after some concerned parents demanded that she be disciplined.

Ms Naomi has been ballistic since coming back to Malawi abruptly on 3rd August 2022 to sort out the issue which has included hacking into some senior members of staff especially Malawians emails to send emails to members of staff appealing for support for Ms Naomi, purporting that the emails were coming from fellow members of staff.

We have the fraudulent emails and even the voice recording of the victims complaining.

St Andrews guards barred our journalists from entering the premises in Blantyre to seek comment from Ms Naomi while Mbewe could not be reached for comment on why he has rescinded his decision to resign from the board.

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