The Herald reports that the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Council has suspended Vice Chancellor Professor Levi Nyagura on allegations of abuse of office after he allegedly unprocedurally awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree to former First Lady Grace Mugabe. Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Pedzisai Mashiri has been appointed to act as the Vice Chancellor.
Nyagura was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) on February 16 this year. Nyagura who has been defiant about the degree had gone as far as threatening lecturers from the university’s Faculty of Social Studies Department of Sociology with dismissal for disowning and challenging the awarding of the degree. He was granted $200 bail when he appeared before Harare Magistrate Tilda Mazhande. Nyagura was represented by Advocate Lewis Uriri and insisted that he is innocent of the abuse of office charge that he is facing. Nyagura was also ordered to surrender his passport, reside at his given address and not to interfere with state witnesses. The witnesses are Professor Gaidzanwa, Doctor Sadomba, Dr Mandizvidza, Dr Ruparaganda, Dr Musevenzi and Professor Mugani.
ZACC is reported to have demanded the “paper trail” showing Grace Mugabe’s registration papers and academic progression. ZACC is also investigating UZ lecturer Professor Claude Mararike who was one of Grace Mugabe’s supervisors. Goodson Nguni the ZACC chair in charge of the investigations committee, said Grace and her husband Robert Mugabe will not be arrested. Grace was awarded the degree when her husband, former president Robert Mugabe was the chancellor of all state universities while current Minister of Environment, Water and Climate and Zanu-PF National Chairperson Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri was the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education.