BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
SUSPENDED University of Zimbabwe vice-chancellor Levi Nyagura has cut short his contract by five months and retired after spending four decades at the institution, which he joined as a lecturer in 1979.
UZ council chairperson Anxious Masuka said Nyagura tendered his resignation letter on March 31, saying he deserved a rest.
Masuka also said Paul Mapfumo would continue to serve as acting vice-chancellor pending the appointment of a substantive head for the institution.
“We wish Professor Levi Nyagura well in his deserved retirement. His visionary leadership saw very rapid expansion of the university infrastructure, student enrolment and the UZ contribution to generating solutions to challenges facing the nation, region and beyond,” Masuka said.
Nyagura’s contract was supposed to end on December 31 this year.
He joined the institution on April 2, 1979 as a lecturer in the department of curriculum and arts, education and he rose through the ranks to become vice-chancellor in 2002, a post he held for 16 years.
Nyagura is currently on suspension after he allegedly single-handedly accepted and approved former First Lady Grace Mugabe’s application to study a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Sociology without the knowledge and recommendations of the departmental board and faculty of higher degrees committee in violation of the UZ’s quality assurance, guidelines and benchmarks. He is on trial for abusing his powers as a public officer to grant Grace a doctorate degree in 2014.
He also faces further 27 counts of criminal abuse of office allegations after he “corruptly” awarded tree-cutting tenders worth thousands of dollars to three different companies owned by one person, violating the State Procurement Act.