The Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (Zinasu) has written to the University of Zimbabwe vice-chancellor Levi Nyagura demanding his resignation within 48 hours. The students allege that Nyagura presided over the awarding of a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree to former first lady Grace Mugabe. Former president Robert Mugabe’s wife was awarded the PhD from the UZ’s Faculty of Social Studies Department of Sociology in 2014. However, the degree attracted intense criticism after claims that Grace did not defend her thesis or take the required period of time to complete it.
The students said that if Nyagura did not step down they would lead demonstrations against him until he resigned. Part of the letter which was written by Zinasu president Archbold Madida reads:
It is our considered view that your continued stay at the helm of the institution further degrades its already tainted image in the academic field. This is because you presided over the awarding of a bogus doctorate to Grace Mugabe.
The act of awarding the bogus degree represents the most deplorable conduct by your office. The issue is now being investigated by (Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission) Zacc, further putting the university on the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
Should you not resign in the next 48 hours, Zinasu will organise thousands of students to protest against your continued stay at the helm of the institution until you resign.
Now the lecturers in the Sociology Department are reported to have disavowed any knowledge of Grace fulfilling any of the requirements for completing the degree and have submitted a complaint to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC). However, ZACC has confirmed that despite receiving the complaint, they will not investigate the matter.
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