Unions criticise award of honorary degrees to president

Teachers’ unions in Zimbabwe have lambasted tertiary institutions for conferring honorary degrees to politicians after three honorary doctorates were recently bestowed on President Emmerson Mnangagwa. His predecessor, Robert Mugabe, received five honorary degrees from Zimbabwean universities, reports Bulawayo24.

Obert Masaraure, president of the Association of Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, said the development was symptomatic of the bootlicking pervasive in institutions of higher learning. “The stampede to confer PhDs is a clear sign of the rot in our institutions of higher learning. The public officials in our universities know perfectly well that they are not competent enough to be holding the positions they are holding,” said Masaraure.

Takavafira Zhou, president of the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, said the conferment of honorary degrees was being used as an instrument to seek favours aligned to certain political leaders. “It is also unfortunate that the president of the country is the chancellor of all universities and appoints all vice-chancellors. In this case conferment of PhDs seems to be some form of seeking favours from the chancellor or some pay back for promotion of vice-chancellors and other administrators in universities,” Zhou said.
Full report on the Bulawayo24 site