It appears Asians will never stop spoiling our leaders with degrees set aside for the distinguished calibre of legendary musician Daniel Kachamba.
Just like Germans recognised the Kwela hitmaker for his jazz, Jeonju University of South Korea last week conferred on President Joyce Banda an honorary doctorate degree in economics.
Congratulations to Madam economic engineer for emulating her predecessor, the late Bingu wa Mutharika, who received professorial honours in China amid a catalogue of his repressive laws, Executive arrogance, dictatorial policies and shortage of fuel and forex.
But are the honorary papers only meant for presidents of highly indebted poor countries as ours? If the universities are worth all the jazz, when will they splash their academic handouts on superpowers squarely addressing problems the size of Mali’s War which threatens Africa’s cultural treasure?
When will overseas institutions stop insulting Malawians who want Dr JB to stop grumbling about Mutharika’s mistakes and start solving the economic hardships she willingly inherited last year?
Given that the taste of the pudding is in the eating, are Koreans better placed to judge Dr JB’s economic clout than Malawians directly affected by the decisions she makes or avoids? Was it not 23 days ago when consumers marched in the streets in protest to rising cost of living?
Where is Banda’s economic excellence when she admittedly devalued and floated the kwacha due to pressure from the International Monetary Fund [not her grasp of the benefits and ruinous impact of free market policies]?
Cut the questions. Like Kachamba’s, Dr JB’s recognition might be just what it was meant to look like—a foreign eye acknowledging the sparkle of another prophet hardly respected at home.
Unless Jeonju is not just another business craving for publicity and an offshore market, the doctorate gives Dr JB a break from bleak petitions emanating from all sides of her ailing economy where medical doctors find essential drugs rarer than gold.
At least artists will be able to make money off the new portraits which will carry the new portfolio, Dr.