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Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission Investigating Grace Mugabe's University of Zimbabwe PhD

(FILES) This file photo taken on August 25, 2017 shows Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe attending the opening of the annual agricultural fair in the capital Harare. Zimbabwe's leading university has published the thesis submitted by former first lady Grace Mugabe, who was controversially awarded a doctorate which is now the subject of a fraud investigation. / AFP PHOTO / Jekesai NJIKIZANA

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) says there has been a 400 percent increase in the number of reported corruption cases, including a complaint over former First Lady Grace Mugabe’s PhD Degree awarded by the University of Zimbabwe, filed by local people since December last year.

ZACC member, Goodson Nguni, told VOA Studio 7 that there is no time frame in which they will start working on Mrs. Mugabe’s case, which is placed 218th in a list of hundreds of complaints filed by various people.

Nguni said some lecturers at the University of Zimbabwe filed the complaint against Mrs. Mugabe, who fell from grace after the Zimbabwe Defence Forces teamed up with then fired Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and toppled her husband, Robert Mugabe.

The University of Zimbabwe has just released Mrs. Mugabe’s thesis titled ‘Changing social structure and functions of the family: The case of children’s homes in Zimbabwe’.

The thesis bears the name of G. Ntombizodwa Marufu (Grace Ntombizodwa Mafuru). Indications are that she changed her surname soon after marrying the President Mugabe in 1996.

She was awarded the PhD in 2014 and was capped by Mr. Mugabe in a move that triggered demonstrations by students who demanded to know details of her study program, claiming that the doctorate was fake.

Mrs. Mugabe has not yet responded to these claims.

Former secretary general of the Zimbabwe National Students Union, Makomborero Haruzivishe, urged ZACC to thoroughly investigate the manner in which the doctorate was awarded, claiming that Mrs. Mugabe’s degree has tarnished the image of the University of Zimbabwe.

Several commentators also noted that the University of Zimbabwe needs to tackle this issue in order to clear its name. Students and lecturers claim that university standards have gone down due to the awarding of the PhD.

Mrs. Mugabe was not available for comment.

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