Nyagura suspended over Grace degree

THE University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Council has suspended vice-chancellor Levi Nyagura, to facilitate investigations into the controversial awarding of a PhD degree to former First Lady Grace Mugabe.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

Nyagura was arrested last week for alleged abuse of office and was released on $200 bail.

The UZ Council met on Monday and resolved to suspend Nyagura, highly-placed sources said yesterday.

“Nyagura has been suspended until his issue is resolved. If anything, he has been violating his bail conditions by interfering with witnesses. It was a unanimous decision by all council members,” a source said.

UZ Council chairperson Buzwani Mothobi refused to comment on the issue, instead referring written questions to the institution’s registrar.

“I am not answering any questions regarding that issue. I would urge you to refer written questions to the university’s registrar,” Mothobi said.

The meeting was controversially postponed last week amid concerns from Thembinkosi Magwaliba, a member of the UZ Council, who argued there were underhand manoeuvres to stop an investigation into Nyagura’s conduct.

Grace was controversially awarded a doctor of philosophy degree in 2014 at a time her husband, former President Robert Mugabe was chancellor of all State universities.

Students demonstrated against the award at the time, but Nyagura’s administration sat on the issue until Mugabe was forced to resign last November following a military intervention that paved the way for new President Emmerson Mnangagwa to sweep into power.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) then began investigations into the awarding of the degree leading to Nyagura’s arrest. Reports also indicated that former sociology department chairperson Claude Mararike was also under investigation for reportedly having played a key role in the saga. Mararike reportedly masqueraded as Grace’s supervisor “during her period of study”.


The investigation was triggered by a petition from senior lecturers at the university who argued that they had not had sight of Grace’s study material or seen her transcripts.

Nyagura was forced to produce a transcript of Grace’s thesis which showed some of the material had been added to the document way after 2014 when she was conferred with the degree. Zacc has declared Grace’s hands were clean, but the opposition MDC party led by former Industry minister Welshman Ncube has urged Mnangagwa to show some “teeth” and arrest the former First Lady who they argued was “accused number one”.

6 Comments

  1. please there are bigger culprits than Prof Nyagura and in the event he abused his office what was he to do and why did ED never said anything about it when he was VP not considering the fact that he ED at one point had to flee from the country, running away from what. ko $15 billion iyo, why are they so quiet about it or its because they ( ED and Gen. Chiwenga ) played a part in its disappearance. zimbabweans wake up we need the real culprits in prison not the pawns, for now.

  2. Levi Nyagura is fully accountable for his actions. There can be no excuse at all. Professor Kamba resigned when he felt unprofessional hands were interfering with academic administration of the University. If force had been applied on him to unprocedurally award the doctorate he should by now have come out clean. We must know that in every situation we have choice and Levi Nyagura had a choice. He knows it in his heart.

    1. That’s very true my friend

  3. icho chidoctorate chacho hachimbobatsiri nyika

  4. State presidents should stop being chancellors of any state university. /that shoyuld be given to prominent persons in soiety, including musicians, business people, filmstars and others who can help institutions fundraise for their academic and research activities. Universitities should be registered as charitale institutions like in the U K so that they can receive donations or canvass for such etc.
    Government ministers and their president should just have nothing to do with tertiary institutions. Those should do their own thing, awarding qualifications, hiring and firing staff, setting limits for terms of service for their administrators like vice chancellors.

  5. “Nyagura BLASTS Department” over Grace PhD. Apa baba makazvibatisa kuti hamuna kuteedzera mitemo nenzira yokuti munhu asvike pakunzi Doctor anenge amboita zvipi zvacho. Kuchepesa
    1) UZ
    2) PhD
    3) Zimbabwe
    You are such a criminal and Gire mese. Giree chidzosa PhD iro.
    Vanotora torai zvenyu. Please withdraw the fake PhD. Mozomusunga after elections ndapota hangu. ikozvino zvinganzi victimisation, tikashaya FDI. After elections ngatitore zvese zvese hanzo hama nokuti isu maZimbo takatorerwa zvese namai ava kusvika pakusvibisa ZITA reUZ.

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