PATRIOTS for Economic Progress leader Sean Tembo has described the decision by the University of Zambia to confer an honorary doctorate in good governance on President Edgar Lungu and his Zimbabwean counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa as ridiculous.
The higher learning institution intends to confer the duo with honorary doctorates during the graduation ceremony slated for June 21, 2019.
But Tembo said Lungu’s presidency has been characterised with vengeance, theft and mediocrity and it is far from being described as good governance.
“Of all the 17 million of Zambians in this country President Lungu is the last person that anyone can consider conferring with an honorary doctorate because he has destroyed the country from the moment he ascended to power. For the University of Zambia, a respectable learning institution, to insult the public by conferring an honorary PHD on President Lungu in good governance is a matter that beats the logic of any citizen myself inclusive,’’ he said.
“When you look at Emmerson Mnangagwa, he ascended to the presidency of Zimbabwe through a military coup. So how can someone who got to power using a coup be equally conferred with an honorary doctorate in good governance? Where is the good governance?”
Tembo expressed displeasure towards the contradictory conduct of the University of Zambia.
“The impact that such a ridiculous decision has is that, people will obviously lose faith in the integrity and reputation and the standing of a learning institution like the University of Zambia. Because when you look at institutions like UNZA it lies on its integrity to deliver proper education and have an image which portrays integrity in society so that those who obtain qualifications from such an institution can be considered and be given necessary respect by the public,” Tembo said.
“So the moment an educational institution loses its reputation based on integrity and objectivity then the certificates that it issues out in the name of degrees and diplomas will equally lose value and this is likely to happen to the University of Zambia should it decide to proceed with this ridiculous decision to confer President Lungu and his Zimbabwean counterpart with honorary doctorates in good governance. It is in their best interest to consider reversing this ridiculous step they are about to take”.
He said his party was greatly disappointed with the contradictory conduct by UNZA to decide to confer an honorary PHD [Doctorate of Philosophy] on the President Lungu on the issue of good governance, as the leadership that President Lungu has showcased so far was very far from what can be described as good governance.
“When you talk about good governance, you are talking about someone who is able to manage the economy properly so that the country can thrive economically. People should be able to get jobs, people should be able to feed their families. When you talk about good governance a person should be able to properly manage the economic resources of the nation to the benefit of every citizen,” he said
“When you look at President Lungu’s presidency from the very beginning you will realize that the economy is basically collapsing as evidenced by the fact that the government is not able to make its basic financial obligations such as paying salaries of civil servants in full and on time as well as salaries of university lecturers and limited quasi-governmental institutions”.
Tembo charged that the presidency of Lungu shows that the resources of the Republic were being managed like that of his political party as evidenced by the Financial Intelligence Centre 2018 trends report, “which has clearly spelled out that it is the PF and its ministers and other senior government officials that are in the forefront looting the resources of the nation.”
“You will realise that it is under his presidency that we have had the largest number of opposition political party leaders who have been incarcerated and charged with all sorts of frivolous criminal charges in an effort to basically knock them out of the presidential race in 2021,” said Tembo.
“So when you talk about good governance you are talking about a President who would supposedly insure a political space for various political parties to conduct their political activities.”