How Zim ex-first lady Grace Mugabe got her 'fake' PhD - report reveals

Harare – The head of the University of Zimbabwe, Levi Nyagura, reportedly took lecturers from the institution of higher learning to former first lady Grace Mugabe's Mazowe orphanage in order for her to take oral examinations for her disputed Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree.

This was revealed after Nyagura was arrested on Friday over the controversial awarding of the PhD to Grace.

Investigators at the Zimbabwe anti-Corruption Commission said they had arrested Nyagura over the suspected fraudulent awarding of a doctorate to the former first lady.

Grace, whose husband resigned in November under pressure from the military, received the doctorate in 2014 amid allegations she did not study for it. She was awarded the degree after just months of study. Former president Robert Mugabe was university chancellor at the time.  

Doctorates typically required several years of full-time research and writing.

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According to the privately-owned Standard newspaper, during Nyagura's appearance in court over the weekend, it emerged that he "single-handedly accepted Grace's application to study for the PhD without the knowledge of the UZ's sociology department".

Prosecutor Oscar Madhume said that Nyagura accepted Ntombizodwa G Marufu (Grace's maiden name) application "without the knowledge and recommendations of the departmental board and faculty of higher degrees committee in violation of UZ quality assurance guidelines and benchmark".

The court heard that Nyagura appointed Professor Claude Mararike and Professor Chaneta to supervise Grace.

Nyagura pleaded not guilty to the charges and was remanded to March 5 on $200 bail.

As part of his bail conditions, Nyagura was ordered not to interfere with State witnesses who included lecturers, the report said.


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