PF Lusaka Province acting chairman Paul Moonga has lashed out at critics of UNZA’s honorary doctorate conferred on President Edgar Lungu for good governance, saying the Copperbelt University has awarded “non-deserving” recipients like Vernon Mwaanga whom he described as a self-confessed drug trafficker.

Last Friday, Copperbelt University Academics Union (CBUAU) president Dr Derrick Ntalasha described the decision by the University of Zambia as a joke, arguing that there was nothing special that President Lungu had done to deserve such a recognition.

But the remarks angered Moonga who called News Diggers to react to the story, reminding Dr Ntalasha that his institution awarded Mwaanga, a veteran politician, with an honorary PhD, when he was just a “form 2” who never attended the university.

“I have seen this headline that says “DR LUNGU A JOKE” from the CBU union ‘secretary general’ Derrick Ntalasha. People should be serious my brother, Copperbelt University gave Vernon Mwaanga an honorary degree as a doctor, we haven’t condemned them. If we compare [Frederick] Chiluba and Dr Lungu, who deserves to be honoured in this country by any institution of higher learning of high Calibre? Dr Mwaanga is a self-confessed drug trafficker who was honoured by Copperbelt University. He has never been to Copperbelt University. President Lungu is a scholar at the University of Zambia with the highest mark as a lawyer. They have honoured their own child, what’s wrong with that?” Moonga wondered.

“Here is Dr Mwaanga who has confessed to having slept with a musician, Tshala Muana from Congo DR. Shame to them. Now he is condemning the University of Zambia for having honoured their own child who has now become the president of this country Zambia. Dr Ntalasha is not even a member of the institution, he is outside.
Why didn’t he condemn when the Copperbelt institution honoured Dr Mwaanga, self-confessed drug trafficker?
Tell me! What can one learn from Mwaanga other than being a cheat? The man who is even not stable in marriage. How many times has he divorced? Morally, he is bankrupt. I want you to put all those issues challenging this general Secretary, Ntalasha to save his soul.”

He observed that despite accepting the honour, President Lungu has advised people to call him “Simple Edgar Lungu”, and not doctor.

“And this Lungu doesn’t even want to be called Dr Lungu, just simple Edgar Lungu. Did he even do form 5 that Mwaanga? He is a form 2. If he finished form 5 it must be night school. He just had been privileged to be given a diplomatic job at a tender age, but the man became a drug trafficker. I have nothing against Dr Mwaanga but if the Copperbelt University can honour VJ Mwaanga, whenever there are elections you think he is a rigger, a suspect. A man who has talked openly about sleeping with women at his age, shame on him,” charged Moonga.

When contacted for a reaction, Mwaanga expressed disappointment that Moonga was focussing on character assassination when he himself was not a clean man.

“First of all, my credentials as a freedom fighter, I fought for the freedom of this country. I was the youngest ambassador at the age of 21, to the Soviet Union. I was the youngest and first Director General of the national intelligence service, I was the youngest foreign minister at the age of 28. I took part in the fight against one party state to establish the democracy which Mr Moonga is now abusing. My credentials speak for themselves in terms of what I have been able to accomplish in my life,” Mwaanga explained.

“If we begin going into personal lives of people, including Mr Moonga’s own, then I think that we will be missing the point. So to be truthful, Mr Moonga is a person of very low Calibre, and I don’t think that it will be useful for me to indulge in a discussion or an argument with him. I will let the people of Zambia judge for themselves. I will let them pass judgement on that. He also has a personal life but am not going to refer to it because what has his personal life got to do with it.”

He recalled working with Moonga in MMD where he left scandalously.

“I was with Mr Moonga in MMD, where he left a very mediocre record and he was embraced by PF, he was jumping from one party to the next, something I have never done. But it is fine, you know, I respect what he said but I will let the people of Zambia judge because I don’t think that it is really dignified for him to begin going into matters which he doesn’t know or let alone understand. I think that is all that I can say.”