Parliament was stopped from discussing an honorary doctorate degree of Philosophy in Environmental Management which the University of Malawi (Unima) last week conferred on the First Lady, Gertrude Mutharika.
The First Lady was recognised for her commitment to restore and properly manage the environment through Beatify Malawi Trust.
Mutharika founded Beam over a year ago with the aim of mobilising Malawians to practise responsible, participatory and improved management of waste and the environment to improve health and quality of life of the people of Malawi.
But after being awarded the degree, Rumphi East MP Kamlepo Kalua, rising on a point of order wondered why government was “silent” on the honourary degree.
But First deputy Speaker, Esther Mcheka Chilenje ruled Kalua “out of order”.
And Leader of the House, Francis Kasaila said: “We need to respect the First Lady and we should not bring that issues as an issue where we can find some mocking ground .”
He asked that the issue raised by Kalua should be stricken off parliamentary records.
Apart from the current First Lady, University of Malawi in 2003 conferred upon the then First Lady Shanil Muluzi [now Shanil Dzimbiri] an honorary degree of Doctor in Philosophy, Honoris Causa, for her charity work.
Shanil is also an MP.
Among MPs who have honourary degree is Lucius Banda who was given a Doctor of Music honorary degree conferred upon him by the University of Jerusalem in 2011 but he keeps it under wraps.