Dictators love decorating themselves with honorary academic awards – Msoni

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President Lungu

All People’s Congress (APC) leader Nason Msoni has charged that dictators in Africa love the idea of decorating themselves with honorary awards and academic qualifications.

Msoni however notes that many of them end up getting stripped of their awards after leaving office by the very institutions that honored them.

The opposition leader was commenting on the decision by University of Zambia (UNZA) management to confer President Edgar Lungu and his Zimbabwean counterpart Emerson Mnangagwa with honorary doctorate – a move that has been met with widespread criticism.

“It is not entirely unusual for dictators in Africa to decorate themselves with medals, academic qualifications or indeed with military titles and other unearned honours. This is to be expected in any country where a full blown dictatorship ultimately manifests itself,” Msoni said.

“We are not re-inventing the wheel at all but this is the epitome of every blossoming dictatorship when it loses direction and its initial purpose. It’s rather a confirmation that the leadership no longer prioritises what it had promised the people as the focus of the dictatorship invariably shifts towards personal aggrandisement and pursuing what exactly makes the supreme leader happy through the constant arm-twisting of institutions to conferring all manner of honours and qualifications that essentially contradict the very reasons for the award.”

Msoni also said threshold for an award in good governance is very high in measure and cannot be trivialised in the manner and fashion it has been done recently unless it was contrived and obtained through coercion, intimidation or indeed by influence peddling and bribery.

“It’s even laughable to attribute it to upholding the rule of law as the reason or merit for the award of the doctorate. Truthfully speaking the extent of lawlessness experienced under this dictatorship beats every reasonable argument about the claim of upholding the rule of law as the legitimate ground for the award,” he said.

“As with all other dictators the awards are later stripped off by the very institutions themselves that did the awarding of such undeserving honours when the time comes.”

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31