Mugabe didn't mark wife's dissertation – aide

2014-11-21 17:03
Grace Mugabe. (File: AP)

Grace Mugabe. (File: AP)

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Harare - A senior Zimbabwean government official on Friday criticised reports that President Robert Mugabe marked his wife Grace's doctorate.

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said the comment by outgoing head of the Zanu-PF Women's League Oppah Muchinguri had been "taken out of context".

"The claim that the president marked the dissertation in the technical sense can only make news on Mars," he told the Herald newspaper, which he is widely believed to control.

"It is common practice for any writer, including those in the media, to ask colleagues, siblings, spouses or friends to comment on their drafts. Those comments are always intended to improve the work and not to pass or fail it."

Presidential ambitions

Earlier this week, Muchinguri told a rally in Mazowe, north of Harare, that Grace Mugabe spent sleepless nights studying for her PhD "while President Mugabe marked it".

The comments sparked a fresh storm over the PhD, which was awarded by the University of Zimbabwe two months after she was reported to have begun studying for it.

Many Zimbabweans believed the first lady, a former typist, was awarded the degree fraudulently as part of efforts to buttress her new political career.

The 49-year-old is about to take over as head of the Zanu-PF Women's League and has suggested she may have presidential ambitions.

Moyo is a senior member of a Zanu-PF faction loyal to Grace Mugabe and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. Faction members are fighting to get Vice-President Joice Mujuru ousted at a Zanu-PF congress next month.

Read more on:    zanu-pf  |  grace mugabe  |  jonathan moyo  |  emmerson mnangagwa  |  joice mujuru  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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