WE are about to direct all our members not to go to the ceremony to confer President Edgar Lungu with a doctorate, let him graduate on his own, UNZALARU has threatened. The University of Zambia Lecturers’ and Researchers’ Union president Dr Evans Lampi said the union was totally against any attempt to honour President Lungu with any doctorate or anything related. Dr Lampi insisted that President Lungu had not contributed anything to the life and progression of the university hence did not deserve the kind of recognition by the University of Zambia Council.

“I fail to understand what is happening in this country, it’s a weird. You cannot, and I repeat, you cannot honour people when they are the ones who have actually undermined higher education. The University of Zambia Lecturers’ and Researchers’ Union is totally against any attempt to honour the Republican President with any doctorate or anything related to that,” Dr Lampi said.

He further said the union and its members were not going to be party to ceremonies that were supporting people who were against lecturers. Dr Lampi said should the university go ahead to confer a honorary Doctorate on the Republican President, they would be in a very big problem with the union.

“He has not contributed anything to the life and progression of the university, so we are totally against this. We are about to direct all our members not to go to the ceremony, let him graduate on his own. We are the ones who teach the people…another university is closed, that’s Copperbelt University, failure to reopen the Copperbelt University and failure to pay the retirees at the University of Zambia equals boycott, we are not going to be party to ceremonies which are supporting people who are against lecturers. Let them do whatever they want, and we are telling Senate of the University of Zambia that if you confer a Doctorate or anything similar to that on the Republican President, they will be in a very big problem with the union, we do not agree,” said Dr Lampi.

In a recent memorandum to members, UNZALARU said said the timing to confer President Lungu with the honourary doctorate was wrong.

Union publicity secretary Moffat Moyo said current mood in the nation suggests the idea was ill-conceived, ill-informed and lacked evidence for good governance.
The lecturers feel the timing and reasons advanced were inadequate to satisfy the widespread indignation, ridicule and scorn the wider public would render.

Moyo said the UNZALARU executive had requested for a meeting with the university management, which was held on June 10, 2019.

He told the members that the union inquired if media reports on the conferring of an honorary doctorate on President Lungu were genuine. “Management reported that the reports were genuine and that the process had been initiated by the Alumni Board, and that the criteria was followed and the proposal would be forwarded to Senate in line with the regulations. The Union was informed that the eligibility criteria would be forwarded for study,” Moyo said. “The Union strongly advised against the conferring of the honorary degree, as such a move would bring negative publicity and impact to the university in the short and long term. The timing and reasons advanced were inadequate to satisfy the widespread indignation, ridicule and scorn the wider public would render. The current mood in the nation suggested that the idea was ill-conceived, ill-informed and lacked evidence on the ground for good governance in general and inadequate support to higher education by the current regime in particular.”

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