UNIMA and Madame First Lady, spare us your mediocrity

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As from yesterday, February 24, 2016, the First Lady of Malawi, Her Excellency Gertrude Mutharika, is now Dr. Gertrude Mutharika after the University of Malawi (UNIMA), – Polytechnic gave her an honorary Doctor of Philosophy (PHD) in Environmental Management at a graduation at Chancellor College in Zomba. The honor is coming as a direct result of her work of beautifying Malawi under her foundation, Beautify Malawi (BEAM), which aims at improving public cleanliness among Malawians. The foundation is now two years old.

Gertrude Mutharika

‘Dr’ in waiting

The degree was basically given “For the sake of honor” as any honorary degree is. It acts as recognition of one’s dedication and achievements in a certain area of serving the public through his or her work. She is not the first to be accorded such an honorary degree. Thousands before her, and after her, will be accorded with such an honor for their various achievements.

But here in Malawi, the honorary degree thing is now going out of hand. Former President Joyce Banda also had an honorary degree given to her from a university in South Korea, and immediately she became ‘Dr’ Joyce Banda. Again, former President Bakili Muluzi, immediately after becoming president in 1994, he was accorded an honorary degree which moved him from being a ‘Mr.’ to a ‘Dr’. As if that is not enough, former President late Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika, also had an honorary ‘Professorship’ given to him. He immediately changed from a ‘Dr’ to a ‘Professor’.

What’s in a title anyway? BEAM Foundation, in its two years of existence, has not made any tangible impact in the Malawian society apart from media adverts and school competitions. It is also of wonder how a foundation, just two years old, can rise above all others for its founder to be accorded such respect. BEAM was not formed out of a purpose. It is a victim of someone being a First Lady, as seen in all past First Ladies. They all had a charity organization they used to pass time on and save their public face with. Unfortunately, such organizations like BEAM are patronized by organizations which are under the control of the government. A year ago BEAM was given money by the National Aids Commission (NAC) and it resulted in serious repercussions from the donor community. They withdrew their HIV/AIDS support through NAC, putting lives of both the infected and the affected people at risk. BEAM and all its predecessors are politically connected. That is why they get huge amounts of undeserved money leaving some organizations that are doing real changing work in the communities.

If this is how we will be running our affairs; everything being politicized and titles being ‘sold’, we should forget about making it. UNIMA may try to justify the honor using all the words it can, but the fact on the ground remains that this was an undeserved honor. There is nothing to point to that BEAM has achieved for the two years it has been around. UNIMA has just made a strategic political move to buy favor and recognition from the political elite. It has sacrificed its integrity and academic position for political mediocrity.

The Dr. Gertrude Mutharika name will now be trending. This is the Malawi we all know; people trying to please their political masters using titles and politicians themselves smiling to the titles as if they deserve them. To the First Lady herself, I am finding it difficult to congratulate you on the honor. And I well understand that me not congratulating you does not even bother you. But you must understand this, Madam, you could have said no to the honor and concentrate on building the foundation to have an impact on the ground, and smile to a real honor later on. Otherwise, you have ripped where you did not sow.

*Wonderful Mkhutche is an author, a political scientist and a document and manuscript developer and editor.

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118 Comments

  1. I cry myself to born a man, i believe and trust that if I would be a woman and get access to be a first lady of Malawian national as Shanil, Carister, Gertrude and Joyce. I would have a simple radar to have PHD and called Dr. Eeeeeeeeesh kumalawi

  2. My Name is Sophia Hakeem I want to give a testimony on how I get cured from HIV/AIDS. As I was browsing through the internet on how to get cured, I saw a lady testimony praising DR CUBA I never believe it before until I tried it and it really work for me am very happy right now may God bless him. this is an opportunity for you to get cured contact him via [email protected] why is website is……[ http://www.dr-cubatemple.webas.com] and also you can contact on whatsapp number +2347038965900 THESE ARE THE DISEASE Dr.DR CUBA CAN CURED. HERPES. HIV/AIDS. CANCER. ALS

  3. My Name is Sophia Hakeem I want to give a testimony on how I get cured from HIV/AIDS. As I was browsing through the internet on how to get cured, I saw a lady testimony praising DR CUBA I never believe it before until I tried it and it really work for me am very happy right now may God bless him. this is an opportunity for you to get cured contact him via [email protected] why is website is……[ http://www.dr-cubatemple.webas.com] and also you can contact on whatsapp number +2347038965900 THESE ARE THE DISEASE Dr.DR CUBA CAN CURED. HERPES. HIV/AIDS. CANCER. ALS

  4. My Name is Sophia Hakeem I want to give a testimony on how I get cured from HIV/AIDS. As I was browsing through the internet on how to get cured, I saw a lady testimony praising DR CUBA I never believe it before until I tried it and it really work for me am very happy right now may God bless him. this is an opportunity for you to get cured contact him via [email protected] why is website is……[ http://www.dr-cubatemple.webas.com] and also you can contact on whatsapp number +2347038965900 THESE ARE THE DISEASE Dr.DR CUBA CAN CURED. HERPES. HIV/AIDS. CANCER. ALS

  5. yeah sure, UNIMA’s integrity bought! no wonder fake degrees are produced from same, how can the whole university sit to honour pple who hav done failures? all politics, stupid UNIMA!

  6. [READ MY STORY. ON HOW I GOT MY HIV CURED].
    Truthfully, i was tested HIV + positive for the past 8 years. I keep on managing the drugs i usually purchase from the health care agency to keep me healthy and strengthen, i tried all i can to make this disease leave me alone, but unfortunately, it keep on eating up my life, this is what i caused myself, for allowing my fiance make sex to me unsecured without protection, although i never knew he is HIV positive. So last Two Months i came in contact with a lively article on the internet on how this Powerful Herb Healer get her well and healed. So as a patient i knew this will took my life one day, and i need to live with other friends and relatives too. So i copied out the Dr Collins the traditional healer’s contact and I contacted him immediately, in a little while he mail me back that i was welcome to his Herbal Home whereby all what i seek for are granted. I was please at that time. And i continue with him, he took some few details from me and told me that he shall get back to me as soon as he is through with my work. I was very happy as heard that from him, as i was just coming from my friends house, Dr Collins called me to go for checkup in the hospital and see his marvelous work that it is now HIV negative, i was very glad to hear that from him, so quickly rush down to the nearest hospital to found out, only to hear from my hospital doctor called Browning Lewis that i am now HIV NEGATIVE. I jump up at him with the a test note, he ask me how does it happen and i reside to him all i went through with Dr Collins. I am now glad, so i am a gentle type of person that need to share this testimonies to everyone who seek for healing, because once you get calm and quiet, so the disease get to finish your life off. So i will advice you contact him today for your healing at the above details: Email ID: [email protected] or you can also add him up on whataspp +2349036950737. CONTACT HIM NOW TO SAVE YOUR LIFE AND DOCTOR ALSO CURE ALL KIND OF DISEASE AND SICKNESS: [email protected] AS HE IS SO POWERFUL AND HELPFUL TO ALL THAT HAVE THIS SICKNESS…

  7. [READ MY STORY. ON HOW I GOT MY HIV CURED].
    Truthfully, i was tested HIV + positive for the past 8 years. I keep on managing the drugs i usually purchase from the health care agency to keep me healthy and strengthen, i tried all i can to make this disease leave me alone, but unfortunately, it keep on eating up my life, this is what i caused myself, for allowing my fiance make sex to me unsecured without protection, although i never knew he is HIV positive. So last Two Months i came in contact with a lively article on the internet on how this Powerful Herb Healer get her well and healed. So as a patient i knew this will took my life one day, and i need to live with other friends and relatives too. So i copied out the Dr Collins the traditional healer’s contact and I contacted him immediately, in a little while he mail me back that i was welcome to his Herbal Home whereby all what i seek for are granted. I was please at that time. And i continue with him, he took some few details from me and told me that he shall get back to me as soon as he is through with my work. I was very happy as heard that from him, as i was just coming from my friends house, Dr Collins called me to go for checkup in the hospital and see his marvelous work that it is now HIV negative, i was very glad to hear that from him, so quickly rush down to the nearest hospital to found out, only to hear from my hospital doctor called Browning Lewis that i am now HIV NEGATIVE. I jump up at him with the a test note, he ask me how does it happen and i reside to him all i went through with Dr Collins. I am now glad, so i am a gentle type of person that need to share this testimonies to everyone who seek for healing, because once you get calm and quiet, so the disease get to finish your life off. So i will advice you contact him today for your healing at the above details: Email ID: [email protected] or you can also add him up on whataspp +2349036950737. CONTACT HIM NOW TO SAVE YOUR LIFE AND DOCTOR ALSO CURE ALL KIND OF DISEASE AND SICKNESS: [email protected] AS HE IS SO POWERFUL AND HELPFUL TO ALL THAT HAVE THIS SICKNESS…

  8. Politics a malawi sidzatithandiza….many institutions have been doing that….search how many papers Mugabe has…it takes your initiative to be given such things..its just a gesture of honouring someone…Bakili for example..Nde mukati ma bin Ali Ndi zinyalala mtaunimu ..inuyo what exactly have you done about it…mukufuna wina abwele adzakuchotsereni….kaya iwowa achitira to gain ma favours then its a nice move…a opposition sangawapatse ndalama to run the institution amwene….peace out

  9. [READ MY STORY. ON HOW I GOT MY HIV CURED].
    Truthfully, i was tested HIV + positive for the past 8 years. I keep on managing the drugs i usually purchase from the health care agency to keep me healthy and strengthen, i tried all i can to make this disease leave me alone, but unfortunately, it keep on eating up my life. So last Two Months i came in contact with a lively article on the internet on how this Powerful Herb Healer get her well and healed. So as a patient i knew this will took my life one day, and i need to live with other friends and relatives too. So i copied out the Dr Collins the herbal healer’s contact and I contacted him immediately, in a little while he mail me back that i was welcome to his Herbal Home whereby all what i seek for are granted. I was please at that time. And i continue with him, he took some few details from me and told me that he shall get back to me as soon as he is through with my work. I was very happy as heard that from him, as i was just coming from my friends house, Dr Collins called me to go for checkup in the hospital and see his marvelous work that it is now HIV negative, i was very glad to hear that from him, so quickly rush down to the nearest hospital to found out, only to hear from my hospital doctor called Browning Lewis that i am now HIV NEGATIVE. I jump up at him with the a test note, he ask me how does it happen and i reside to him all i went through with Dr Collins. I am now glad, so i am a gentle type of person that need to share this testimonies to everyone who seek for healing, because once you get calm and quiet, so the disease get to finish your life off. So i will advice you contact him today for your healing at the above details: Email ID: [email protected] or you can also add him up on whataspp +2349036950737. CONTACT HIM NOW TO SAVE YOUR LIFE AND DOCTOR ALSO CURE ALL KIND OF DISEASE AND SICKNESS: [email protected] AS HE IS SO POWERFUL AND HELPFUL TO ALL THAT HAVE THIS SICKNESS..

  10. Nde a city osesa aja plus amisala apasidwenso same degree coz onsewo amagwira ntchito yosesa nkutola zinyalala ngati maiwa. Infact, they do a better job than her

  11. Beam paja ndiija yaika myala mma roundbout ikuwononga ma galimoto a anthu ija eti,ngati ali omwewo chonde achose myiala ikutha galimoto za anthu chonde.

  12. What kind of fucken degrees are been offered there in UNIMA??? been offered adegree bcoz she is apolitical based??? MALAWI MALAWI MALAWI

  13. A source of discouragement to those who work hard to earn degrees. Her English doesn’t impress me even. Apa Unima yabetsa integrity yawo. Shame!!

  14. Malawi why are u turning so ugly! your children are looking up to u to set a good example but u are busy recognising people bcoz they are rulling, why are we always blind on justice ? give us the real definition of hard work not this medioca

  15. This i can call stupid,mmm u nid when they stop rulling azikapeza maganyu pomwe mkalasi ya tchitoyo sanalowemo,,apolice kumangoyang’a zoona inu mukuyenera kumangidwa ndithu

  16. Zisiyeni mbuli za dpp munthu angalandire degree chifukwa chosesa mumsewu kapena kudzala mitengo. Stupid government I wonder this country has no leader

  17. UNIMA, tsono chowanzunzira ana anzanu kulimbikira sukulu kuti azakhale akadaulo zili zinthu zoti mukhonza kungowapasa mwaulele ngati mwachitiramu ndi chani?

  18. Enanu don’t be too DPP. Even during Bakili people commented when some people including when the then first lady was honoured. Only that there was no Facebook and whatsapp.

  19. sizomangoyankhula zopanda umboni, anthu ambiri alandira ma degree ngat omweo,mukufuna mundiuze kut pa onsewo,Getu yekha ndiosayenela? ngat zilichoncho tioneseni umboni wakusayenela kwake? ndale 2019

  20. Stupid UNIMA , we are about to doubt your credentials you professors and doctors here , I laboured and sacrificed all my efforts to be accorded the first degree in the same similar exercise of making sure the environment is devoid of litter , and you just now give out higher qualifications to people who never even practised it ..#mxieeeew !

  21. a unima chimenecho ndiye ndimati khanundu. fodya wankulu chambaaa. mwapereka degree yachani?? mwayamba ndale eti?? mukatengeko mukamupatse mwana amene akuphunzira ukoo. shupiit

  22. (I HAVE A MIRACLE TESTIMONY TO SHARE WITH EVERYONE)
    Hello my name is Lizzy Joe, I want to give a testimony about my HIV virus that was cured by a great spell caster. Since last 16 years I have being a HIV positive patient. I never think I we live long again and am so grateful to Dr Greg Carlos who help me cured my HIV virus last 3 weeks. I was in a great pain so I told one of my best friends about my situation; she told me that there is a great spell caster that can cure my VIRUS. I asked her if she had his contact, she gave me his email and phone number, I emailed him and he talked to me and he perform the necessary things and he told me that after 14 days, I should go for a test. Which I did, when the doctor told me that am now a HIV negative I couldn’t believe myself I went to see another doctor the result was still the same, I was human on planet earth, so i contacted him and thanked him for is good work. Please if you are having a similar problem please visit him or contact him at: [email protected] or whatsApp: +2348146867873… ALL THANKS TO Dr Greg Carlos.

  23. Ngati Bakili Muluzi mbuzi yamunthu, nde mukadabwe ndimunthu woti analembanawo mayeso a form four???? kkkkkkk ngati mukukayika voterani Joe Gwaladi tiwone ngati sazamupatsa degree

  24. Mmatown mwathumu ma bin adakali odzadza ndi zinyalala ndiye wina mkumapatsidwa degree ya ulemu kuti akuikwanitsa mtchito yothetsa umve,anthu adakakodzerabe mmitengo yet the so cold BEAM siinamange even a single toilet kapena ulemuwo mwasowa ompatsa

    • Vuto anthu tinangobadwa osusa baasi pali zinthu zina zizifunika a boma ayi,monga inu ndi ine titangosipatsa ulemu tokha town ikhoza kukhala ya bwino ndindani amakoza mmitengo?Ndindani amataya zinyalala malo osakhala bwino?Sinu ndi ine kodi?Nthawi zambiri zinthu zinazake boma limatha kukwanitsa kma vuto anthu ambiri tinangobadwa osusa baasi pa chitike ichi timachiona choipa.

    • Amwene,mukanena choncho ndiye kuti simumazitsatira bwino zinthu,kuikidwa kwa a munucipality kuja anayamba aona kuti kungakhale kwa bwino kuti tiike anthu amene aziyang’anira za ukhondo wammatown athumu chimenechonso ndicho cholinga cha the so called BEAM ndiye mukauutenga udindowu ndikuupeleka kwa anthu wamba ndiye yambani mwathetsa izi mumati a city ndi BEAM izi keneko inu ndi ine tiyambe kimakasesa mtown

    • Amwene,mukanena choncho ndiye kuti simumazitsatira bwino zinthu,kuikidwa kwa a munucipality kuja anayamba aona kuti kungakhale kwa bwino kuti tiike anthu amene aziyang’anira za ukhondo wammatown athumu chimenechonso ndicho cholinga cha the so called BEAM ndiye mukauutenga udindowu ndikuupeleka kwa anthu wamba ndiye yambani mwathetsa izi mumati a city ndi BEAM izi keneko inu ndi ine tiyambe kimakasesa mtown

    • Amwene,mukanena choncho ndiye kuti simumazitsatira bwino zinthu,kuikidwa kwa a munucipality kuja anayamba aona kuti kungakhale kwa bwino kuti tiike anthu amene aziyang’anira za ukhondo wammatown athumu chimenechonso ndicho cholinga cha the so called BEAM ndiye mukauutenga udindowu ndikuupeleka kwa anthu wamba ndiye yambani mwathetsa izi mumati a city ndi BEAM izi keneko inu ndi ine tiyambe kimakasesa mtown

  25. Makolo akuvutikatu
    kuwononga ndalama zambilimbili kuti ana aphunzile apeze degree,ana 4 years osagona tulo usana ndi usiku studying kuti mwina nkupeza degree imeneyi kufikaso pomawalakwitsaso ana ena.ndie wina wosaphunzila nkomwe nkumati ndi dr?kubvala kenikweniku ngati akazi a president kulephela akapita kunja kuchititsa manyazi eti ndie nkumati aalandila degree?hw and why?ma donation akupatsani kuti mugule chimanga anthu asafe ndi njala mayamba kugula ma degree eti yomangotsekela mu box mukagwila nayo ntchito yanji? ineso ananu zandinyasa mmene mukunzunzikila ana inu ndi zokhumudwitsa zimenezi.fees hw much are u paying to get tht degree?

  26. I think the world is indeed going to an end together with its education. I still don’t understand the motive behind all this honor to the wrong person @ the wrong time & in the wrong manner!!!

  27. True that…
    How do you expect us the youths to be inspired by fake doctorates???
    Do you think Malawi’s education can improve through these acts??
    How can someone be honoured with a PHD that she has never sweated for??
    Is this how we are going to run our education??
    I see no future in improving Malawian education and as a Chancellor College student I have been greatly dishonoured

  28. True that…
    How do you expect us the youths to be inspired by fake doctorates???
    Do you think Malawi’s education can improve through these acts??
    How can someone be honoured with a PHD that she has never sweated for??
    Is this how we are going to run our education??
    I see no future in improving Malawian education and as a Chancellor College student I have been greatly dishonoured

  29. someone made a windmill, one a helicopter, yet another a hydroelectric system, all from scratch. yet they were never promoted nor given such recognition which they deserved. countless malawians have done highly commendable things various fields. all kinds of life-changing research has been done by unrecognised Malawians. please enlighten us on the procedure followed in awarding these honorary degrees. are these only for the politically connected or the rich and famous?? UNIMA, which was once a bright star shining on the African continent has lost its fame and credibility, in what way will this help to pull it up?

  30. someone made a windmill, one a helicopter, yet another a hydroelectric system, all from scratch. yet they were never promoted nor given such recognition which they deserved. countless malawians have done highly commendable things various fields. all kinds of life-changing research has been done by unrecognised Malawians. please enlighten us on the procedure followed in awarding these honorary degrees. are these only for the politically connected or the rich and famous?? UNIMA, which was once a bright star shining on the African continent has lost its fame and credibility, in what way will this help to pull it up?

    • priscilla yo comment has made me speechless all because u have said the whole truth. when society gives due where its not supposed to be given then there is disintegration. this degree is a typical sign of decaying in our education system and the other question is why was the president not there lol that shud tell us the big guy was ashamed of this silly title

  31. Hahahaha chitukuko chake chimenechi pamalawi. No wonder we have numerous fake Dra and professors including the presidet

  32. Hahahaha chitukuko chake chimenechi pamalawi. No wonder we have numerous fake Dra and professors including the presidet

  33. Am sad with u UNIMA how come for her to deserve that! There are some pple that at least need your help.Go to Dowa and help the skill of that guy who made an attempted plane teach him engineering and honor him a PhD u will see he will make a presidential jet not these bulshit!

  34. Am sad with u UNIMA how come for her to deserve that! There are some pple that at least need your help.Go to Dowa and help the skill of that guy who made an attempted plane teach him engineering and honor him a PhD u will see he will make a presidential jet not these bulshit!

  35. Nothing BEAM has done on the ground. Pple study a lot mix researches 2 get such an honourally degree & yet u giv it 2 someone 2 get favors. Ndye akamat ma standard anu ku Africa kuno ndi otsika muzikana.

  36. Nothing BEAM has done on the ground. Pple study a lot mix researches 2 get such an honourally degree & yet u giv it 2 someone 2 get favors. Ndye akamat ma standard anu ku Africa kuno ndi otsika muzikana.

  37. This is the disease Malawi has which Blessings Chinsinga clearly pointed out at the 5th Pac conference in Blantyre. Accidental leadership even in parastals. UNIMA no exception.

  38. This is the disease Malawi has which Blessings Chinsinga clearly pointed out at the 5th Pac conference in Blantyre. Accidental leadership even in parastals. UNIMA no exception.

  39. wat is BEAM doing in malawi kodi? ku lilongwe depot uku, mikodzo yokhayokha, and yet akuti there’s beam. And this yur university kufuna kuoneka abwino ati kumpasa degree, zachani izi kodi?? a malawi mmasowa zochita bwanji?

  40. Wa pa tebulo et ?. Kkkkkk ife kusala kudya osagona u ninja ndi u ninja every semester iwe kungotenga bax. Mmmmmm 2 bad

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