BY CHARLES LAITON
Former University of Zimbabwe (UZ) vice-chancellor, Levi Nyagura has been given a temporary reprieve after the High Court granted him stay of prosecution. The court, however, gave him an ultimatum to ensure his court application for review is set-down for hearing by July 24.
Nyagura, whose trial on charges of single-handedly awarding former First Lady Grace Mugabe a Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD), was set to commence yesterday.
The former UZ boss had earlier petitioned the court, seeking an order to nullify the decision by a Harare magistrate to dismiss his application which sought to have the criminal charges levelled against him quashed.
Nyagura was arrested in July 2017 on charges of criminal abuse of office for allegedly conferring Grace with a PhD contrary to the UZ’s Act.
But, when his trial commenced at the Harare Magistrates’ Court, Nyagura made an application before acting chief magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi, seeking to quash the charges on the basis that they were not in accordance with the law.
Mutevedzi dismissed his application.
Nyagura said there was no personal liability under the UZ Act Chapter 25:16 compared to the Companies Act, adding that the university and the chancellor are the answerable entities at law to decisions made by the institution.
Nyagura said when Mutevedzi entertained his application, he did not address his mind to the nature of the real application, but dealt with a different application which he eventually dismissed.
“This is an application to review the decision of the first respondent (Mutevedzi) wherein he dismissed my application for quashing of charges on the basis of disclosing any lawful cause of action.
“I also seek that this honourable court reviews the manner in which the first respondent arrived at such a decision because I am of the firm belief that it was arrived at irregularly,” Nyagura said.