Those of us who went to University of Zambia, must be feeling ashamed that, first the University was downgraded, therefore to enter another University out of Zambia we are subjected to further assessments such as Graduate Entry Examinations. Secondly, for a university that is more than 50 years old, it is very embarrassing to be awarding honorary Doctorates to people like Lungu, in Governance, as if UNZA has no credible people to measure Lungu’s governance record. The UNZA council chaired by Namucana Musiwa, who of all people as an ex UN employ, must know that Lungu’s governance record has been atrocious to say the least. Let us examine this shamble for what it is, when compared with the acceptable Governance Standards.
The World agrees that Governance shall be measured by six dimensions backed by indicators in each of the dimensions. These dimensions are Voice and Accountability; Political Stability and Absence of Violence; Government Effectiveness; Regulatory quality; Rule of Law and Control of Corruption.
Lungu’s Government is fighting with the Financial Intelligence Center (FIC) trends report, calling the report a witch hunt. The report is calling on the PF and its cohort of thieves to account. But they are refusing to account. This fight is led by Lungu, who is supposed to protect these institutions. What therefore has he done to deserve that honorary PhD. Political stability, another total failure? Lungu has presided over the most brutal regime. Opposition leaders and anyone with a dissenting voice have had to face the full wrath of law. Zambia is by all means a police state, but that group of cadres wants to award him with a PhD in governance. His party internal election is marred by violence because even the PF that floated him as a candidate know that Lungu is weak, this is why there is so much impunity.
Government effectiveness. This Government has been anything but present in our daily lives. If this Government was effective, would it have dried the foreign reserves which are estimated to be US$0.6bn by mid 2020? This is a Government that has not paid farmers since 2017, and those that want to award Lungu with a PhD reckon this is effectiveness. Government hospitals have no medicine, people in Lusaka have no access to clean water, is that a Government one can call effective and even award the leader with a degree. The Lungu’s government is tinkering with the constitution which we even told them was bad, but they went ahead to amend it and sign it off in 2016. There is no regulatory quality because of bad laws coupled with selective administration of the same laws.
There is no rule of law to talk about in Zambia. PF cadres can arrange a protest and display a very high level of lawlessness and the so called law enforcement agencies look away because the PF is above the law. Where then do these people wanting to award Lungu with PhD live? Corruption! Corruption! Corruption! In 2017, FIC reported K4.5 billion stolen, in 2018 they reported K6.1 billion stolen. Numerous reports of missing social cash transfer money which has led to freezing of support to the Ministry of Social Services. This 4.5 and 6.1 is what went through the financial system, while we all know that illicit money is largely away from the eyes of the state. But that group of cadres thinks Lungu deserves an honorary degree from one of the once venerated high institutions of learning as if to add salt to injury.
If there is anything, anyone must do at this point to help UNZA, is to desist from making UNZA political and stay away from this issue of awarding a degree in good governance to a despot.