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Mnangagwa Suspends University Professor Over Grace Mugabe's PhD Awarded 'Unprocedurally'


(FILE) 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

Incumbent president Emmerson Mnangagwa has suspended the vice chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), who allegedly unilaterally awarded former first lady Grace Mugabe a Doctor of Philosophy degree without following proper procedures.

According to the state-controlled Herald newspaper, Mnangagwa suspended Professor Levy Nyagura using powers vested in him as chancellor of the country’s universities.

The newspaper quoted a statement issued Friday by the university’s registrar, Dr. Noah Mutongoreni, who noted that Professor Paul Mapfumo has been appointed acting vice chancellor until the finalization of Professor Nyagura’s case.

Ten lecturers from the Department of Sociology early this year protested over the awarding of the doctorate to Mrs. Mugabe claiming that Professor Nyagura conducted himself in an unprofessional manner over the manner in which the former first lady was admitted at the UZ and wrote her thesis, which she defended as her Mazowe Farm.

They claimed that Professor Nyagure appointed his own people who supervised Mrs. Mugabe in violation of laid down departmental procedures and regulations.

The Anti-Corruption Commission recommended that Professor Nyagura should be arrested after receiving complaints over Mrs. Mugabe’s PhD from staff members and students, who claimed that the former first lady’s degree had dented the image of the university.

Mnangagwa, who was aided by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, staged a defacto military coup which resulted in the removal of former president Robert Mugabe from office.

Mugabe was allegedly in the process of grooming his wife to be his successor. A few weeks ago Mugabe claimed that he wanted former Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi to succeed him.

Mrs. Mugabe allegedly led a Zanu PF faction known as Generation 40 while Mnangagwa is said to have been in charge of another group well known as Team Lacoste.

Mnangagwa was sacked by Mugabe for claiming that he was poisoned while attending a Zanu PF event in Gwanda, Matabeleland South province.

Mugabe dismissed the claims and sacked his then deputy who was also attacked by Mrs. Mugabe for undermining the authority of the president.

Mnangagwa made a dramatic comeback after he sneaked out of the country claiming that his life was in danger and the seized power in style being aided by the military, members of the public and parliament, which was engaged in impeachment proceedings before Mugabe threw in the towel last November.

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