Malawians are up in arms against the University of Addis Ababa for awarding President Peter Mutharika an honorary degree because the president has diversified the economy and has fought corruption.
“Stop this nonsense! Addis Ababa University is trying hard to gain international recognition by conferring on some people honorary degrees for achievements that are entirely false,” writes newspaper columnist Lameck Salamango.
His column was reposted on social media by political and social commentator Onjezani Kenani to trigger comments from many.
He asks which trade has Mutharika led Malawi to.
“Show us the statistics, show us the data. What were our exports before APM became president and what are our exports now? What is Mutharika’s impact on trade,” says the columnist.
He says fighting corruption is one area which Mutharika has particularly shown lack of, saying he has rebuffed granting the Anti Corruption Bureau the independence it needs to fight corruption more effectively
“Truth be told: Mutharika style of governing involves putting government machinery on auto pilot, hoping that nothing goes wrong. When he attempts to step out of his comfort zone to explain his policies to the people, he appears disconnected from reality,” he says.
The post has attracted many comments with renowned economist Henry Kachaje saying Mutharika does not deserve the degree whilst veteran journalist Dickson Kashoti imploring on the university to withdraw the degree.
Speaking to state run Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, Mutharika said he was given the degree in recognition of the efforts he has made to ensure constant supply of water and electricity all day long.
To the contrary however, dry taps and blackouts are the order of the day in Malawi.