Details have emerged of how members of the University of Zambia Senate were coerced into approving the controversial proposal to confer Honorary Doctorates on President Edgar Lungu and his Zimbabwean counterpart Emerson Mnangagwa.
On Friday, President Lungu and President Mnangagwa are expected to be conferred with Honorary Doctorates for good governance.
But some members of the Senate have revealed that they were duped into supporting the proposal.
The members who spoke on condition of anonymity said they were surprised that such a proposal was tabled in a meeting without following procedure.
“So an emergency Senate meeting was called via email and Senators were told that they will find the agenda as they go for the meeting,” one of the Senators explained.
“As we sat, the agenda was circulated and a write up to support the awarding of the two doctorates was attached. The VC (Vice Chancellor) was not in the meeting but was represented by the DVC (Deputy Vice Chancellor). She told everyone that if they want to find good in people they can always find it and vice versa. So people were asked to ratify the proposed names which is Edgar Lungu and Emerson Mnangagwa.”
The source added, “Then the union leader protested that this is not how things are done and asked why an exception was being made on this one.
“The DVC said they did not have much to say but to just ratify the proposal. So people asked why they were called to the meeting to rubber stamp something they don’t agree with. They were told a committee was constituted and chaired by Prof Baboo from the School of Medicine.”
“The argument was that the two (President Lungu and President Mnangagwa) were Alumni who ascended to the highest offices in the two countries.”
The source said the people refused to endorse the proposal leaving the DVC with no option but to asked for a proposer to which someone did and she then asked for a secondment to which someone else also did and that is how the meeting ended with all members of Senate dumb founded.
And the Patriotic Front has congratulated President Lungu saying he deserves to be conferred with a Honorary Doctorate because of his exceptional leadership.
PF Deputy Media Director Antonio Mwanza says President Lungu will be honoured for among others, appointing Zambia’s first female President and for enacting the 2016 Constitution.
Mr Mwanza said President Lungu further deserves to be honoured for the massive infrastructure development and for uniting the country under the One Zambia, One Nation motto.
He said President Lungu also deserves to be honoured for upholding the Rule of Law and for seeking compensation for the families of the Gabon Air Disaster.