University official suspended ‘for giving Robert Mugabe wrong-sized cap’

Assistant registrar of the University of Zimbabwe claims that president’s mortarboard ‘fitted perfectly well’

November 3, 2015
Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe

A senior official at the University of Zimbabwe has been suspended for allegedly giving Robert Mugabe the wrong sized graduation cap.

Assistant registrar, Ngaatendwe Takawira, is accused of breaking labour laws by providing a mortarboard that was too small for Mr Mugabe, the country’s president and the chancellor of the university, at graduation ceremonies in 2014 and 2015.

This year’s graduation ceremony was delayed for 45 minutes while the university tried in vain to find a replacement hat, causing an “embarrassing situation for the chancellor and the vice-chancellor”, Ms Takawira’s suspension letter says.

But Ms Takawira has denied wrongdoing and has gone to Zimbabwe’s high court in a bid to have the disciplinary proceedings dismissed, according to local media.

She says that she was not responsible for arranging Mr Mugabe’s headgear and that the cap in question had, in fact, “fitted perfectly well”. She also claims that Mr Mugabe’s office had indicated that he was too busy to try caps on ahead of the ceremonies.

A BBC report suggested that the decision to suspend Ms Takawira “was probably taken by university authorities keen to appease the president and not from any genuine anger on his part”.

chris.havergal@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Post-doctoral Research Associate in Chemistry

University Of Western Australia

PACE Data Support Officer

Macquarie University - Sydney Australia

Associate Lecturer in Nursing

Central Queensland University
See all jobs

Most Commented

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations

Mitch Blunt illustration (23 March 2017)

Without more conservative perspectives in the academy, lawmakers will increasingly ignore and potentially defund social science, says Musa al-Gharbi

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham