THE Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (Zimche) has warned high-profile people who were awarded honorary doctorates by the International Institute of Philanthropy (IIP) to desist from using the title doctor as the awarding institution was not registered or authorised to award degrees to anyone in the country.
A Zimche notice published in weekly yesterday reads: "Zimche wishes to inform all stakeholders in higher education that the IIP is not authorised to award degrees to anyone in Zimbabwe. This is because the institution is not registered with Zimche, the higher education regulatory authority. In terms of Section 10 of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education Act Chapter 25:27, all degree-awarding institutions in Zimbabwe must be registered with Zimche."
Zimche indicated that degrees awarded by IIP were not recognised in Zimbabwe and warned members of the public against using titles awarded by unregistered institutions.
This means music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi, UFIC's prophetess Makandiwa and eight other prominent Zimbabweans that were recently conferred honorary doctorates by IIP cannot use the title doctor.
The little-known IIP recently awarded Mtukudzi, United Family International Church’s Ruth Makandiwa, wife of the church’s founder Emmanuel Makandiwa, Isabel Chihuri, wife of police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, former Zimbabwe National Roads Administration chief executive officer Frank Chitukutuku, Avenues Clinic managing director Merissa Kambani and Pastor Ruth Musarurwa of Christ Embassy honorary with degrees.
Moonlight Funeral Assurance and Services Company chief executive Chomi Makina, the Avondale Primary School headmistress and IIP chief facilitator Enrico Sibanda were also cited as outstanding philanthropists. The IIP website was only registered on June 17 this year.
Sibanda recently told the media that IIP was formed in 2000, adding that the Philanthropy Institute of Zimbabwe PIZ, which is based in Avondale, got affiliate status in 2013.
Sibanda said the institute used its own standards and systems to select people who deserved the honour, but declined to spell out the selection criteria.
He said his outfit was not affiliated with any university under the Higher and Tertiary Education ministry because it was not offering educational qualifications, but refused to disclose which ministry his organisation was registered with.