- Oct 2, 2007
The awarding of an honorary degree to political figures almost always prompts protests from faculty or students. To my surprise this was not the case for our reputable Muhimbili University of Healthy and Allied Sciences during the ceremonial award of honoris causa to Mr Kikwete. In most of the developing worlds, students and faculty chose to boycott the commencement ceremonies. I am ashamed of being an alumni of MUCHS by then.
Rev Masa will narrates this with examples, In 2001 George Bush received an honorary degree from Yale University where he had earned his bachelor's degree in history in 1968. Some students and faculty chose to boycott the university's 300th commencement. In 1985 as a deliberate snub the University of Oxford voted to refuse Margaret Thatcher an honorary PhD degree in protest against her cuts in funding for higher education. This could as well be done with MUHAS in Protest of Bajaj to substitute ambulances as Mr Kikwete was advocating during his campaign rally.
More recently, Arizona State University's President Michael M. Crow refused to give an honorary degree to U.S. President Barack Obama for his perceived lack of adequate qualifying achievements thus far.
To avoid political alignments reputable universities do not offer these honorary degrees. Some universities, like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell University, Stanford University, the California Institute of Technology, Rice University and the University of Virginia, do not award honorary degrees. Hawataki jipendekeza kwa wanasiasa uchwara as Mr Kikwete is trying to impress.
Another controversy na hizi degree za kupewa rafiki yake Mr Kikwete, anatakiwa anyang'anywe degree alizopewa. EDINBURGH University in Scotland and the United States' University of Massachusetts and Michigan State University are considering recalling the honorary doctorate of laws degrees they conferred on Robert Mugabe.
Mr Kikwete should not fool himself is that smart. Recipient of these degree za kupewa may if they wish adopt the title of "doctor". Written communications where an honorary doctorate has been awarded may include the letters h.c. after the award to indicate the status. I am told Mr Kikwete is found of the prefix Dr he is always insisting for the tittle. Mr kikwete can only be correctly addressed as h.c Dr Jakaya Kikwete and Not Dr Kikwete hapo tunaharibu maana ya PhD ya kusomea.
Muhimbili you could do better other than awarding this honoris causa to this underachiever Mr Kikwete.
Rev Masa K
Ref: various sources