New twist to Grace degree probe

THE University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Council has ordered a probe into the award of a degree to former First Lady Grace Mugabe in 2014.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA/KUDZAI MUCHENJEKWA

The probe follows the arrest of UZ vice-chancellor, Levy Nyagura on allegations of criminal abuse of office over Grace’s PhD.

The UZ Council was supposed to meet yesterday to discuss the matter, but the meeting was cancelled under unclear circumstances, prompting a member of the council to lash out angrily.

In a letter to members, UZ registrar, Noah Mutongoreni said the decision had been taken after advice from lawyers.

“Following advice from our lawyers, Messrs Chihambakwe, Mutizwa and Partners legal practitioners, the special council meeting scheduled for Thursday February 22, 2018 has been cancelled,” Mutongoreni said But a member of the council, Thembinkosi Magwaliba reacted angrily to the cancellation.

“The cancellation has serious governance implications, it must have been the council, which should have met and decided not to discuss the issues of the conferment of the degree to Mrs Mugabe and not the lawyers of the university, the registrar or even the council chairman on his own,” he said.

Magwaliba argued that the UZ Council’s power could not be overridden by its lawyers.

“The council employs the vice-chancellor (Nyagura). The council’s employee has been arraigned before the courts and the council has never received a written report on the issues that are the subject of the prosecution.

“I, accordingly, request that the chairman of the council reinstates the meeting and all issues that are supposed to be discussed be discussed at the meeting. The vague opinion from the lawyers has no power to stop lawful business of the council,” Magwaliba said.

In another letter addressed to UZ Council chairman, Buzawani Mothobi, dated February 19, Magwaliba seemed to accuse Nyagura of lying to the council.

“We received a verbal report from the vice-chancellor to the effect that investigations in respect of the matter had been concluded by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and that there were no irregularities found in the manner in which the PhD was awarded.

“Over the past week, however, we have learnt through the media that, in fact, investigations have been ongoing and the vice-chancellor has appeared in court and has been remanded on $200 bail,” Magwaliba said.

He warned that the matter, if not handled carefully, could have devastating implications on governance at UZ, demanding the meeting be rescheduled.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (Zinasu) has called on Zacc to expand their investigations over fraudulent issuance of acquisition of certificates at institutions, including to politicians.

Zinasu said fraudulent behaviour at tertiary institutions was rampant and instituting investigations into such claims will bring back confidence in Zimbabwe’s higher education.

Zinasu secretary-general, Ashleigh Pfunye said: “We won’t tolerate such behaviour, especially when someone denigrates the integrity of our education.”

He said Zacc must look into other universities, colleges and polytechnics to ensure that corrupt academic staff were brought to book.

Zinasu also said Zacc should investigate how academic institutions were utilising funds, as there were reports that money meant for students is being diverted to personal use by top officials.

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21 Comments

  1. Matebele Warrior

    Academic fraud , why are they arresting the VC only , i think Grace should have been the first , This law is not applied in the right way.

  2. Mr Magwaliba do you understand the ‘sub~judice’ principle ?

    1. hahaha that is exactly what the council could have decided, not the subjects and suspects

    2. the fact that the VC has been criminally charged does not stop the institution from pursuing its own intenal mechanisms on the matter

  3. Comment…Of late, a lot zpf bigwigs have graduated with masters’ and PHD degrees, especially from uz, zou and msu. A coupla years ago, Christopher Mushowhe’s degree award was subject to debate. Zacc must investigate

    1. Yes, Mushowe was granted a Masters Degree by Graham Hill (the then VC) despite the fact that he had been failed by Masiphula Sithole!

  4. The UZ council should have been investigated first. Why were they silent all along? Again, dubious degrees are being awarded to politicians and the council is silent about it. This council is compromised and corrupt and should be fired

  5. All those in hot soup over this should use the obvious defence. They feared for their lives. The former first lady had been earmarked for power to be sexually transmitted to her. Knowing that Zimbabweans would have problems with a president who didn’t even have O-Levels, the powers that be then approached the university authorities to “organise” a degree for her. They specifically stipulated that failure to do so or attempting to resign would be dealt with ruthlessly. Therefore it was merely self preservation that motivated them.

    1. Have they appointed you as their spokesperson or lawyer?

  6. Comment…Money meant for students is being diverted into personal use by some top officials. Um
    pane nyaya apa. Ko ndiyani aimbove Gurukota redzidzo yepamusoro panguva iyi? Arikutiyiwo nechiitiko ichi? PhD rinopiwa munhu zvaitaseyi nhayi
    hama dzangu. Yaaaaa, ini G7 ndaingoti zvavo vakadye mabhuku, ndisingazivi kuti hey! Bva ndochikonzero neyi mamwe mapazi eHurumende nemamwe makambani arikungodonda nhayi. Zvakaomarara veduwe.

  7. what should he (Vice Chancellor) have done, i think this was a direct order from the Chancellor (R.G Mugabe) himself so hapana zvaaikwanisa kuita even kuramba aigona kutopfuudzwa naBOBO

    1. Correct. Aigona kupfuudzwa, asi kana power dynamics dzachinja, he was supposed to be the first one to talk about it so as to absolve himself. In stead, he attempted to silence those that were raising alarm. He insulted and intimidated them. Thats his crime. In an case, Professor Kamba vakazviramba wani. He actually resigned at a graduation ceremony citing “illiterate political fingers interfering with his running of the University” Nothing was done to him. Nyagura must face the music for willingly capitulating. Zidofo. Chombo munyaya iyi arimo futi because maface na Nyagura. Mark my words.

  8. They must arrest Bob and his wife Grace.

  9. kutaura kwamusina kuswera

  10. Mr Magwalimba is right.This is now an employment issue which can be dealt with in terms of Labour Relations Act and also in terms of the Code of Conduct. The two cases can run parallel since one is civil matter while the other one is a criminal case
    Therefore the question of subjudice does not arise. If I was his employer I would simply raise a case against Nyagura and organise a hearing

    1. Magwaliba does not employ the Vice Chancellor. Librarian, Bursar, Registrar and 2 Pro VCs…..

  11. I believe a FULL investigation should be carried out because I am betting a great number of Degrees were given away for payment or favours!

  12. Its grossly unfair to nail Levy Nyagura alone. The rot is deeper. In the process of issuance of degrees, the following office bearers are key and must be put in custody: the dull, corrupt and formerly powerful student, Chairperson of Department, Dean of Faculty, Head of Post-Graduate Studies Unit, Registrar, Pro-Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, Vice-Chancellor and The Chancellor [Gushungo] himself. All these people knowingly and actively participated in the criminal abuse of office. Batai vanhu kuti vazive kuti imhoswa.

  13. But Gushungo asadaro vakomana!!!! Did you know that some years back, more than 10 I think, MSU proposed to confer comrade ED Mnangagwa with an honorary Doctorate degree but Gushungo unilaterally refused a night before graduation in spite of the fact that all due processes had been followed. Only to criminally offer his wife a fake one. He must answer a few impolite questions for that.

    1. she is not educated at all period, she should go to hell

  14. trigger lickshot

    she is not educated at all period, she should go to hell

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