A newspaper columnist has gone flat out to criticise South Korea’s Jeonju University for awarding Malawi President Joyce Banda a Doctorate Degree of Economics, Honoris in recognition of her efforts to improve Malawi’s ailing economy since taking office last year April.
Writing in his ‘My Dairy’ popular column in Weekend Nation newspaper, journalist George Kasakula said foreign universities have no right to insult Malawians by citing falsehoods when distributing honourably degrees to the country’s leader which he called “worthless papers “in the manner that the University of Jeonju in South Korea did when it decided to bestow an honorary doctorate on President Joyce Banda.
Kasakula argued that the reason for the South Korean to award the degree to President Banda in recognition of her efforts to improve the Malawi economy was flawed.
“It is my utmost belief that any credible institution would first of all research—which is the whole essence universities exist—before coming up with reasons to bestow upon someone any honour,” Kasakula wrote.
“The question is: Which economy has Banda improved, how and when? On what basis would someone call the Malawi economy improved unless that someone is mad or is high on some dangerous intoxicants or lives on Mars and not on this earth or in Malawi?”
The columnist further wrote: “It is an insult for anybody to say the Malawi economy has improved and give someone a degree for it because it has not and this is based on any assessment anybody can dream of. You do not even need to talk about fundamentals such as inflation or cost of borrowing as everything has gone haywire economically in Malawi.”
He further pointed out that if Korean university had researched, it would have learnt that “all Banda has done is adopt IMF-dictated policies whose fruits, if any, are yet to be seen at the moment.”
Wrote Kasakula on ‘My Diary’: “All Malawians know now is hell and gnashing of teeth while still on earth as the cost of living has skyrocketed.”
The columnist further argued: “Banda has not yet improved the Malawi economy and that Korean university had no right to insult Malawians by lying to justify the award of a worthless paper to her.”
Meanwhile, Malawi government is to reprint thousands of presidential portraits to add “Doctor” to Joyce Banda’s name, raising eyebrows amid a tough austerity drive.
“We want to reflect the new title of the President as she will be addressed by Malawians and the whole world,” Information Minister Moses Kunkuyu said.
After coming to power in April last year the president asked to be known as “Mrs Banda” rather than the honorific “Madam President.”
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