University of Zimbabwe (UZ) boss, vice-chancellor Levi Nyagura is reported to be intimidating and threatening to sack lecturers from the Department of Sociology for disowning former first lady Grace Mugabe’s PhD degree. Grace was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree from the UZ’s Faculty of Social Studies Department of Sociology in controversial circumstances in 2014. Lecturers in the Sociology Department filed a complaint with the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (ZACC) after disavowing any knowledge of Grace fulfilling any of the requirements for completing the degree. The UZ has also released the former first lady’s PhD thesis written under the name Ntombizodwa G. Marufu almost four years after conferring the degree on Grace.
Nyagura is reported to be unhappy with the conduct of the lecturers and threatened to fire them all from the department. Wilbert Sadomba, a lecturer and secretary for education in the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) told the publication, New Zimbabwe,
He called us to a meeting at the UZ and specifically barred me from taking part against regulations and ordinances governing the institution.
Nyagura later told other lecturers that he was prepared to fire those that have raised questions around the degree awarded to Grace.
Another lecturer who spoke to Nehanda Radio said:
The University administration now wants to silence us on the PhD issue. The Vice-Chancellor summoned us as Sociology department on 24 January 2018 following a series of letters from the department outlining our grievances and departments. The meeting had no written agenda.
…Nyagura said the department has no say in the administration of MPhil and DPhil candidates. This is not true. The policies, procedures and ordinances are clear. On the university institutional repository, Grace PhD is written Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology, done in Department of Sociology and supervised by C Mararike, a post retired member of the staff of the Department of Sociology.
The problem is that the Sociology Department is now a factory for manufacturing sub-standard qualifications. The people who supervised Grace Mugabe PhD are in the process of producing another bogus degree for the VCs secretary (Who has no BSc or MSc in Sociology and Anthropology) hence she is not qualified to be in the Sociology Department.