Mnangagwa honorary degree outrage

Published: 14 October 2019
CIVIL society organisations and human rights activists have expressed outrage over the honorary degree on peace and governance awarded to President Emmerson Mnangagwa by Bindura University of Science and Technology at the weekend, saying it does not reflect the current social-economic and political environment characterised by massive human rights violations.

The university said it had accorded Mnangagwa who is the chancellor of all State universities in the country with the doctorate for policies that promote the rule of law, deepen democracy and strengthen international co-operation.

Mnangagwa dedicated the doctorate to "peace-loving

Zimbabweans", saying: "I humbly dedicate this award to all Zimbabweans who have, over the years, remained committed to peace, security, unity and stability of our beloved country," he said.

Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) treasurer Norman Matara said this was not the time for conferring honorary degrees in peace and governance as it was not reflective of the country's socio-political environment.

"Patients are dying in hospitals due to the doctors' strike while the Mnangagwa government is refusing to address their challenges and it has responded by declaring that the strike is illegal.

"This is clearly not a time to be awarding honorary degrees

because we are in an environment that is promoting gross human rights abuses like the right to medical care and the right to life," Matara said.

An honorary doctoral degree is often awarded in recognition of one's life experiences or those who have either made contributions to a certain field or those who have made large donations to an institution.

The honorary doctorate on peace and governance is the seventh honour that Mnangagwa has so received from various State universities. Matara said Mnangagwa needed to put more effort in promoting peace and good governance before accepting honorary degrees.

"So far, we have not seen any effort from him because up to now victims of violent incidents like the August 2018 and January 2019 shootings have not been compensated," Matara said.

MDC secretary-general Charton Hwende said such developments tarnish the image of local universities.

"The recipient of this degree had a hand in the deployment of soldiers who murdered peaceful Zimbabweans in January 2019 and August 2018 who were exercising their constitutional right to demonstrate and petition the government.

"This is a sad development that tarnishes the image of local universities," Hwende said.

This comes as the Zimba- bwe Peace Project, a human rights watchdog, revealed that human rights violation cases are on the increase, with 184 cases recorded in September alone.
- dailynews
Tags: Mnangagwa,


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