Vice-chancellor arrested in Grace Mugabe PhD probe

Anti-corruption agency charges head of University of Zimbabwe with abuse of office over former first lady’s doctorate

February 20, 2018
Grace Mugabe
Source: Alamy

Authorities in Zimbabwe have arrested Levi Nyagura, the vice-chancellor of the university that awarded Grace Mugabe a PhD just two months after she enrolled on the programme.

The Anti-Corruption Commission began investigating the circumstances surrounding the University of Zimbabwe’s award of the doctorate to the wife of former president Robert Mugabe after academics raised concerns in a petition.

Professor Nyagura was arrested on 16 February and charged the following day with abuse of office, which he has denied. He has since been released on bail and is due back in court on 5 March.

The commission’s spokesperson, Phylis Chikundura, said that the university should provide a “paper trail” that shows Ms Mugabe’s registration and academic progression, according to reports.

Earlier this year, lecturers in the department of sociology said that they had no records of her work.

Ms Mugabe’s thesis appeared online only in January even though her husband had awarded her the qualification in 2014 while he was chancellor of the institution.

Academics have previously said that repealing Ms Mugabe’s PhD should be the first priority to fix the country’s higher education system damaged by Mr Mugabe’s 37-year rule.

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