HIGHER and Tertiary Education minister Amon Murwira has declared zero tolerance to political interference in the awarding of degrees at State institutions.
BY NUNURAI JENA
Addressing stakeholders at Chinhoyi University of Technology last week, Murwira said the awarding of certificates and degrees was the prerogative of the Senate of universities.
“Academic processes at universities like issuing of degrees is the prerogative of the Senate and when we say no to political interference, it’s clear that we don’t want interference in academic processes at universities,” he said.
This came in the wake of controversy generated by the University of Zimbabwe after it awarded a PhD to former First Lady Grace Mugabe amid reports that her research thesis did not meet the minimum standards.
After being awarded the degree four years ago, Grace’s research thesis was only displayed in the university library this year, after lecturers from the department of sociology petitioned vice-chancellor Levi Nyagura.
In a veiled attack which appeared directed at Grace, Murwira said degrees should be earned on merit.
Murwira said students on attachment would continue to pay full fees because their fees were used to pay accommodation fees for their assessors’ stay in hotels.
“When a student is on attachment the student is still learning and must pay because those who assess them need to travel and put up in hotels,” he said.
Murwira also said the students’ education loan scheme was now operational to cushion students against the harsh economic environment.