By Greyson Chapita.

We now have Dr Joyce Banda, all thanks to the University of Jeonju in the Republic of Korea for awarding our leader with a Doctorate Degree in Economics, oh yes you heard me right, Her Excellency Mrs Joyce Banda is now a holder of an Honorary Degree in Economics, in recognition of “her efforts to improve the country’s economy”. This is interesting, in fact I am impressed that we now have an honorary economist as president.

But wait a minute, do I hear some people laughing at the mention of the word “Dr” before Her Excellency’s name? Can’t they hear that others are busy celebrating, drinking Fanta orange, eating and throwing oranges around because their leader has at least achieved something big worthy the handclapping and all the songs of praise am hearing? Here is an institution of higher learning in South Korea (forget news about its ranking) that decides to confer someone an honorary degree for “trying to” or “for making an attempt” but not necessarily for achieving something because the reasons given for the award are nothing but lies. So to some extent I understand why this honorary degree in Economics conferred on our most top person is a subject to many heated debates I have come across on social networks and other public forums.

To sum up my first two paragraphs I would say, the word “Economics” and the statement that reads “her efforts to improve the country’s economy,” is the making of another economic engineer. We have another economic engineer, at least not according to Atcheya but to some University in South Korea.

What it means is that, madam Joyce Banda will now to be called “Dr” for trying to improve the economy not for improving the economy, get it clear there. I now believe that a lie spreads faster than the truth. They say a lie can travel halfway around the world, while the truth is putting on its shoes. No wonder the lies about Joyce Banda’s government are spreading all over the world while the truth is taking some time to open up to the world for what it is. Will the truth ever open up when our dear president is travelling at the same speed with the lies, going places, covering up the mess back home with some juicy keynote addresses, exclusive interviews with the international media, wining and dining with people that matter in this world, her many pictures being splashed in lifestyle magazines and being paraded as a great leader and thinker. Even when the truth decides to open up, the world will choose to ignore it because to them Dr Joyce Banda is a great leader and thinker.

In the eyes of most PP hand clappers, I will be committing unpardonable sin if I call our president “Mrs Joyce Banda”. Am actually battling in my head as I put ink to paper as to whether I should be including the title of “Dr” before her name or maintain the “Mrs” as ordered by the Chief Secretary days after she became president. Why am I saying so? Simple, we turn to Wikipedia “In some countries, recipients of an honorary doctorate may, if they wish, adopt the title of “Doctor”. Many universities, however, request that an honorary graduate refrain from such practice”. To a president who has been sweating day in out in search of any form of recognition, I guess this is no mean achievement and she will never at any point choose not to be called “Dr”. Don’t you ever wake up one day and decide to make that mistake of calling her “Mrs” when she has an honorary title of “Dr” that needs to be added to her name. Her hand clappers have found even much more reasons to praise her. After all, who would want to have a Mr or a Mrs for a President when all the other presidents before were called Doctors and one was a Professor?

Why would many Universities request honorary graduates to refrain from using the title of “Doctor?” again, the answer is simple, take a look at this; “An honorary degree or a degree honoris causa (Latin: “for the sake of the honor”) is an academic degree for which a university or other degree-awarding­ institutions have waived the usual requirements, such as matriculation, residence, study, and the passing of examinations”, that’s what Wikipedia is telling us. An honorary degree is supposed to remain “Honorary” that’s why those that insist on using the prefix “Dr” may include letters “h.c” and use it as “Dr.h.c”

Honorary degrees have never been short of controversy though, it is believed that some universities and colleges have been granting honorary degrees in exchange for large donations. In other words some recipients of such degrees especially politicians have been accused of bribing their way to getting the honorary paper. Honorary degree recipients, particularly those who have no prior academic qualifications,­ have sometimes been criticized if they insist on being called “Doctor” as a result of their award, as the honorific may mislead the general public about their qualifications.­ This revelation makes us understand why most incompetent people would mask their incompetency by parading such honorary accolades in public. They would want all their praise singers to make this a core of their compositions.

What’s my point really? We have, (I shouldn’t say “we”) they have (the Koreans) just made another economic engineer or I should say they are imposing one on us when the situation on the ground is clearly telling us a different story all together. This contrary to the story that is coming from Jeonju University. We heard it from Madam Joyce Banda herself that we are not yet there. She has been asking for patience and perseverance as tough times continue taking the lives of Malawians away. She openly confessed that the much publicized Economic Recovery Plan might take 18 months to shape up, that was before Her Minister of Economic Development and Planning Goodall Gondwe gave us another version of 5 years. This honorary achievement could have made a lot of sense if it came after the 18 months or even after the five years, not now. This Honorary title is a pimple in the heart of humanity

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