23 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Nyagura's Term Divides UZ

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Nyagura also turned 65, making him ineligible for reconsideration for the top post in line with the country's labour laws.

He has also served the stipulated two terms as head of the country's oldest and biggest university.

There have been moves by some members of the Buzwani Mothobi-led council to extend his term by another five years to December 31, 2017 but not everyone agrees.

There is a group within council which strongly feels that Nyagura's "advanced" age rules him out for a "demanding job of Vice Chancellor."

The divided council has resolved to approach the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education on the way forward.

Nyagura is said to be on a warpath with those he perceives to be opposed to his continued stay at the UZ.

He has since dislodged two council members namely Mothobi and vice council chairperson, Nation Madongorere from their positions although there are doubts whether he has powers to do so given that Mothobi and Madongorere are his bosses.

Disagreements over Nyagura boiled over at a council meeting on December 7, 2012, forcing Pro-Vice Chancellors, Chipo Dyanda, Taka Munyanyiwa and Lovemore Gwanzura to recuse themselves. Nyagura also recused himself.

"Council noted that EXCO (executive committee) had reso-lved to recommend to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education in line with provisions of the University of Zimbabwe Act that Professor L M Nyagura's contract as Vice-Chancellor, University of Zimbabwe, be extended for another five-year term, that is, January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2017 on the basis of his outstanding performance and the need for continuity of leadership at the University of Zimbabwe," minutes of the December 7 meeting read.

"Council discussed the matter and raised concern over the five-year period for the extension of the contract for Professor L M Nyagura as Vice Chancellor, Univ-ersity of Zimbabwe. In particular, members rais-ed the following concerns;

-That the Vice Chan-cellor had attained age of retirement i.e. 65 years;

-Health/safety for the Vice Chancellor be taken into consideration given his advanced age and the demanding job of Vice Chancellor;

-That the University of Zimbabwe may be setting precedence for the future as in the past Vice Chancellors only serviced two terms and retired at 65 years although the University of Zimbabwe Act is silent;

-Council preferred th-at Professor L M Nya-gura's contract as Vice Chancellor be extended by a short period rather than five years which has been recommended by the executive committee," the minutes added.

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