Mugabe was last month conferred with an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law by the Anglican Church of the Province of Ecuador. Bishop Walter Roberto Crespo, leader of the church, made the announcement during a visit top Harare last month saying the degree was in honour of Mugabe’s “good leadership”.
Mugabe accepted the degree promising to receive it on his way from the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
“We are very grateful and appreciative of the generosity that has come from Ecuador to us” Mugabe said. “We shall receive the conferment of the honorary degree on our way from the United Nations (UN) Summit in the United States next month.”
But Mugabe did not travel to Quito as planned. Instead he returned home after realizing that Crespo was a discredited character who was once arrested for supplying arms of war to a guerilla movement in Colombia, the , Revolutionary Forces of Columbia (FARC) in 2001.
His church and its Christian university were also discredited. Bishop Crespo negotiated the sale of hundreds of anti-tank missiles and cluster bombs by the FARC guerrillas, as well as funneling $240 000 for M-72-A2 missiles, which were intended to be used in an assassination attempt on Columbian President, Alvaro Uribe.
The Anglican Diocese in Harare has since distanced itself from Bishop Crespo and his Anglican Church of the Province of Ecuador.
The Anglican Diocese of Harare said Bishop Crespo’s church was not legitimate just like the one led by Bishop Nelbort Kunonga in Zimbabwe.
Bishop Kunonga accompanied Bishop Crespo at State House where the degree was conferred on Mugabe.