Zimbabwe: U.Z. Vice Chancellor Threatens to Axe Colleagues Over Grace's Phd

Photo: The Herald
Grace Mugabe's graduation day (file photo).
25 January 2018

University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Vice Chancellor Levi Nyagura has reportedly turned to harassing lecturers who have questioned former First Lady Grace Mugabe's doctorate awarded controversially in 2014, it has emerged.

Nyagura, according to a lecturer, Wilbert Sadomba, called together all staff from the Social Studies Department on Wednesday and threatened to wield the axe.

"He called us to a meeting at the UZ and specifically barred me from taking part against regulations and ordinances governing the institution.

"Nyagura later told other lecturers that he was prepared to fire those that have raised questions around the degree awarded to Grace," Sadomba told New Zimbabwe Thursday.

Sadomba is a veteran of Zimbabwe's liberation struggle and serves as secretary for education in the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA).

Grace was awarded a PhD in 2014 and was capped by her husband former President Robert Mugabe in a move that triggered wild-cat demonstrations by students who demanded to know details of her study program.

Nyagura's administration remained mum on the issue but the issue was resuscitated following the fall of Mugabe last November in a bloodless military coup.

ZNLWVA spokesperson Douglas Mahiya reacted angrily to Nyagura's reported victimisation of lecturers.

"The issue of Grace's degree must be investigated. If the award was above board there is no reason to victimize people, the idea should be to clear the dust around this issue.

"We view Nyagura's move as a continuation of the G40 cabal remnants within our body politic and social fabric. We will oppose such shenanigans to the hilt," said Mahiya.

Nyagura was not available for comment as his mobile was unreachable.

UZ Dean of Social Studies Charity Manyeruke was also not available with reports she was in Matabeleland North on "business".

Insiders said Department chairperson Claude Mararike has already been suspended over the "Grace degree furor".

"Mararike is already suspended and has been replaced Professor Pedzisayi Mashiri as a way of trying to resolve the issue. Nyagura is trying but it's a delicate issue.

But by Thursday the UZ had posted the former first lady's thesis on its website.

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