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Zimbabwe Students Urge U.Z Vice Chancellor to Step Down Over Grace Mugabe's 'Bogus' PhD

FILE - Zimbabwe's first lady, Grace Mugabe, addresses party supporters at a ZANU PF Rally in Chinhoyi in this July 29, 2017

The Zimbabwe National Students’ Union (ZINASU) on Thursday gave vice chancellor Levi Nyagura of the University of Zimbabwe 48 hours to step down for awarding an alleged fake degree to former First Lady Grace Mugabe.

ZINASU president, Achbold Madida, said the student body will call for a nationwide protest if Nyagura does not step down.

Madida is quoted by the privately-owned NewsDay newspaper as saying, “It is our considered view that your continued stay at the helm of the institution further degrades its already tainted image in the academic field. This is because you presided over the awarding of a bogus doctorate to Grace Mugabe.

“The act of awarding the bogus degree represents the most deplorable conduct by your office. The issue is now being investigated by ZACC (Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission), further putting the university on the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.”

He said, “ … Should you not resign in the next 48 hours, ZINASU will organise thousands of students to protest against your continued stay at the helm of the institution until you resign.”

Reports say ZACC is not investigating the awarding of the doctorate to the former first lady. Mrs. Mugabe and Nyagura were not available for comment.

Senior academic staff have since distanced themselves from Mrs. Mugabe’s PhD, which sparked a lot of debate in the country and other nations. Most of them say they never read her research proposal, a key academic step in obtaining such a degree at all universities in Zimbabwe.

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