Most of the question is the title: Why do some Universities give honorary degrees?
E.g. the President of Indonesia, Sukarno, got 26 honorary doctorates, and Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe has been awarded around a dozen honorary degrees.
What is the benefit for the Universities? Donations? Political leverage? Genuine attempt to give to somebody the recognition he deserves? If last option, why calling it a degree instead of using a more general term like award/medal/etc, like some other Universities do?