University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Vice Chancellor Professor Levi Nyagura has criticised lecturers in the Department of Sociology for challenging the awarding of a doctorate to former first lady Grace Mugabe.
In an interview with The Herald yesterday, Nyagura responded to demands by 10 lecturers for UZ to revoke Mrs Mugabe’s PhD and said PhD students were supervised by the post-graduate centre and not a teaching department. Said Nyagura:
There is no way that they could have supervised the candidate because a doctorate is not done by a teaching department. It is done by a post-graduate centre.
He dismissed allegations that the thesis was not in the library until this year. Prof Nyagura claimed the thesis was deposited at the university library in 2014. He said Mrs Mugabe’s thesis was supervised by two professors, who also supervised former Vice President Joice Mujuru. In relation to Professor Mararike’s appointment, Nyagura said the position required a candidate with traceable academic credentials, which the whole department lacked. Said Nyagura:
Whoever is challenging the appointment of Professor Mararike is ignorant of the University’s ordinance laws, which is why maybe they are not Professors. The laws say ‘may’ consult not ‘must’ consult.
He said the university was ready to defend its position should the lecturers consider taking a legal route. Earlier in the year, 10 lecturers from the department of sociology petitioned Nyagura to revoke and nullify Grace Mugabe’s doctorate arguing that it was awarded unprocedurally.