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Dr Wilson said that he would initiate the inquiry personally on his return to the campus.
“It was done well before my time,” he said, “but I think Mr Mugabe’s degree is something we certainly need to look at.”
Dr Wilson paid tribute to President Mandela’s “lifelong commitment to freedom,” saying he had come to
“Nelson Mandela is a hero to all people who value freedom, dignity and justice,” he said before handing over the scroll. “President Mandela’s principled opposition to tyranny and injustice inspires us today and will inspire our sons and daughters for generations to come.”
By contrast, in neighbouring
UMass would not be the first institution to consider such action. Last year, the academic assembly of
In November, the students’ union at the
The UMass degree was awarded in January 1986, four years after the Zimbabwe government had nationalised the press and at the height of a local genocide in the southern province of Matabeleland where troops loyal to Mugabe are alleged to have massacred up to 40 000 of his political opponents. The scroll was handed to the Zimbabwean leader by President Mandela’s daughter, Makiziwe Mandela, who was studying at UMass at the time.
UMass chairman, Dr James Karam, who was travelling with Dr Wilson, refused to be drawn on whether the school should revoke Mugabe’s honour.
“I wasn’t there in 1986, it was well before my time and I’m not prepared to comment on the matter,” he said. – Own correspondentPost published in: News