Zimbabwe’s opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party has described as “thoroughly ill”, the granting of an honorary doctorate in agricultural Sciences to President Robert Mugabe by the Lupane State University (LSU), says a report.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, the MDC said that the LSU’s honour of the veteran leader was “not a funny joke”.
The conferment, the report said, was done at the university’s 8th graduation ceremony on Friday in Lupane.
Mugabe was honoured for his “outstanding work in promoting agriculture and food security” in the country.
Controversial land reform programme
But, according to the MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu, the nonagenarian who has been in power for nearly four decades, had in fact destroyed the country’s agricultural sector.
Gutu said that it was “gross absurdity” to grant Mugabe the “dubious honour”… as even his Gushungo Estates were “a sorry example of how not to manage an agricultural estate”.
This came 17 years after Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF party launched a controversial land reform programme.
Thousands of white commercial farmers and their employees were displaced and left without sources of income during the fast-tracked agrarian reforms in 2000.
Some of the farmers lost their lives during the chaotic land seizures.
Economists blamed the chaotic land reforms for the country’s economic downturn.
But Mugabe recently claimed that the southern African country could produced enough food.
“The country has this year succeeded in regaining its food self-sufficiency status on the back of the good rainy season and the introduction of command agriculture,” Mugabe said as he opened parliament last month.