Former First Lady Grace Mugabe faces a corruption probe following a formal complaint filed by lecturers at the University of Zimbabwe’s Sociology Department over the manner in which she attained her doctorate.
According to the privately-owned Zimbabwe Independent newspaper, Mrs. Mugabe, who fell from grace when her attempts to succeed her husband Robert Mugabe were thwarted by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and then sacked Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa in November last year, may face corruption charges as all faculty members have distanced themselves from supervising her research.
The newspaper reports that two senior UZ officials, vice chancellor Levi Nyagura and senior lecturer Professor Claude Mararike, who was supposedly one of Grace’s supervisors, may be arrested within the next few days as the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission is handling the case.
The Zimbabwe Independent’s sources claim that staff members never handled Mrs. Mugabe’s research proposal as she only allegedly surfaced on graduation day when she was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy Degree on the same day former Vice President Joice Mujuru attained her doctorate.
Lecturers and students are complaining that the awarding of the doctorate to Mrs. Mugabe has undermined the status of the University of Zimbabwe.
The newspaper reports that the awarding of the doctorate to the former first lady allegedly violated certain provisions of the university charter and Zimbabwe’s constitution.
“The fuming academics are demanding a formal investigation to determine whether Grace’s degree and other administrative practices do not violate Chapter 9, sections 194, 196-198 of the Constitution in relation to the governing of the UZ as a public institution,” writes the newspaper, which quoted authoritative ZACC sources.
Mrs. Mugabe was not reachable for comment.
Meanwhile, the newspaper also reports that Mrs. Mugabe’s sons Bellarmine Chatunga and Robert Junior, stepson Russell Goreraza and son-in-law Simba Chikore and several former state officials are facing arrest.
ZACC is said to be investigating them for engaging in serious corruption activities ranging from illegal gold deals to corruption and murder.