A senior Zambian government official has confirmed that the University of Zambia will go ahead and confer Honorary Doctorates in Good Governance to President Edgar Lungu and his Zimbabwean counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The official who preferred to remain anonymous confirmed that the ceremony will go ahead at the next UNZA graduation ceremony.
“Yes the ceremony is on and invitations have been sent to Zimbabwe and both Presidents have accepted to be honoured, so we are just preparing to host President Mnangagwa here,” the official said.
Frantic efforts to get a comment from UNZA Council Caretaker Committee Chairperson Namucana Musiwa proved futile as she referred all queries to the Public Relations Manager Damaseke Chibale who refused to comment.
But some UNZA insiders have also confirmed that Presidents Lungu and Mnangagwa will be honoured at next week’s ceremony.
And some Zambians have taken to social media to denounce UNZA’s plans to confer Honorary Doctorates on President Lungu and the Zimbabwean Leader.
Zambians took to social media to express displeasure on the decision by UNZA after it was revealed that President Lungu might be changing titles from Mr Lungu will be conferred with an honorary doctorate degree as he officiates at the next graduation ceremony slated for June 21.
Both President Lungu and Mnangagwa graduated from UNZA with LLB.
“The initial plan was to simply confer an honorary doctorate degree on President Lungu alone, but some expressed concern that the public and even the members of the university may question the move, so it was decided that the best thing would be to find a cover-up. After much deliberation, it was agreed that another honorary doctorate degree be given to Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa so that he can be used as a decoy to legitimise the award. As you probably know the Zimbabwean President, like President Lungu, has an LLB degree from UNZA,” said the source who spoke to the News Diggers.
And the UNZA Alumni association has advertised an alumni dinner slated for June 22 at Mulungushi International Centre to be graced by President Lungu and President Mnangagwa.
Tickets are going for K950 per person.
Meanwhile civil rights activist Laura Miti said President Lungu must decline the good governance honorary doctorate if indeed the university is planning to confer him.
“If there is ever a time one hopes a rumour making the rounds is fake news, it this story that the University of Zambia plans to award President Lungu with an honorary doctorate in good governance. Good governance Even he would refuse it, kaleza. They should give him one for encouraging health and fitness pela, if they must. These things must ring true” Miti said.
Some have also used social media to circulate a mock Honorary Doctorate to be conferred to President Lungu for apparently promoting corruption.