Thursday, February 22, 2018

Grace Mugabe's PhD supervisor investigated


One of the lecturers who supervised Grace Mugabe's PhD thesis is reportedly being investigated by the Zimbabwe anti-graft agency.

According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, University of Zimbabwe (UZ), lecturer Professor, Claude Mararike faced arrest once investigations were concluded.

Zimbabwe Anti-corruption commission (ZACC) spokesperson, Phyllis Chikundura confirmed the development.

"He (Mararike) is under investigation and he faces arrest once investigations have been completed," Chikundura was quoted as saying.

This came after reports said that the UZ head Levi Nyagura was arrested last Friday over the controversial awarding of the PhD to Grace.

Investigators at the ZACC 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.

According to the privately-owned Standard newspaper, it had emerged that Nyagura "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 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.