Nyagura explodes over Grace’s PhD scandal

via Nyagura explodes over Grace’s PhD scandal – Nehanda Radio | Nehanda Radio 4 October 2014 by Elias Mambo

UNIVERSITY of Zimbabwe (UZ) Vice-chancellor Professor Levi Nyagura was outraged and exploded when asked to explain how President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace, got her controversial PhD as the academic scandal engulfing the first lady refuses to go away.

“Are you (the Zimbabwe Independent) a university? So why do you want to know the details of this particular student’s performance?” Nyagura erupted when asked to explain the contentious issue.

“How many students graduated with PhDs?”

After being told there were 13 students who graduated with PhDs, including Grace, he asked: “So why would you want to know results of this particular student only?”

Further told that how Grace got her doctorate was not only interesting to the public but also an important issue of public interest, Nyagura — who chaired the UZ’s 15-member academic member committee that awarded Grace the doctorate — became even more agitated, saying: “Why would the public want to know all this? Do they know how universities are run? The public is ignorant of how universities are run and this issue has nothing to do with them anyway.”

After the outburst, he fired his parting shot: “I am not going to respond to any of your questions, thank you!”

For the past three weeks authorities at the UZ have avoided answering questions regarding Grace’s doctorate degree and when Nyagura was finally available yesterday he refused to shed any light, only radiating more heat around the issue.

The Independent has failed so far to speak to other UZ leaders and officials, including spokesperson Dennis Rwafa, registrar Sergeant Chevo, officers in charge of student records and acting Dean of the Faculty of Social Studies Tichaendepi Masaya.

Efforts to speak to University Council chairperson Washington Mbizvo and UZ senate officials have also failed.

Last week senior academics shed light on the matter, albeit anonymously, saying to get a PhD at UZ one goes through a long rigorous process.

“The first stage is an exploratory one where the person who wants to study meets informally with the relevant authorities of the university to discuss whether the topic which the student wants to explore is researchable and whether the university has competent professors to supervise the thesis,” said a professor from UZ.

“The student then has to apply to the Post-Graduate Office, which will send the application to the relevant faculty, for example social studies in Grace’s case. The student is required to submit an application, together with a CV and a transcript of the previous degree studies.

“The faculty then submits the application to the relevant department. The chairperson of that department sends the application to the Post-Graduate Committee (PGC).”

The professor added: “Upon receiving the application, the PGC convenes a meeting to consider the suitability of the applicant to see whether the person has the appropriate academic qualifications, the research topic is workable and if there is a competent supervisor. A provisional or associate supervisor is then provided.

“After further consideration, it goes back to the PGC which then writes to the applicant informing him or her whether the application was successful after which the applicant can register and come up with a full formal proposal.

“The applicant is given six months to do the proposal. Many fail to produce it within that period and ask for an extension of up to three months. If they fail after the extension they are automatically out. If you make it, then you follow other long procedures until the end of the process.”

In terms of UZ requirements, for an MPhil the candidate must have a good pass in an honours degree with at least an upper second class (2.1) or an approved equivalent and the minimum duration of study is two years for a full-time student and three years for a part-time student.

A DPhil candidate requires a good master’s degree. An MPhil student who excels can however have his or her studies upgraded to DPhil. This only happens in exceptional circumstances where the student is distinguished.

Even then the minimum for a DPhil full-time student is three years and four years for part-time studies. Senior academics at the UZ said Grace did not meet the essential requirements, while she also did not spend the basic minimum time studying there, making her acquisition of the PhD unprocedural. The Zimbabwe Independent

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 31
  • comment-avatar
    Angela Wigmore 8 years ago

    Well done Zim. Independent for stirring this hornets’ nest! Nyagura is far more eloquent and revealing in his angry bluster than if he had attempted to tell lies.

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      I studied part-time (five years) for a DPhil (= PhD) degree at the University of Zimbabwe – see http://www.dlmcn.com/cseed3.html … I had to deposit two copies of my thesis in the university library, and two more in the Faculty of Agriculture. It is also logical for candidates to keep another copy privately… Nyagura was probably asked: “WherE is Grace’s thesis?”

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    disturbed 8 years ago

    its a fake degree full stop. repasi pemuti

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    tapiwa 8 years ago

    So according to Nyagura Zimbabweans have no right to getting an explanation because they don’t run the UZ ummm. I thought UZ was a government institution funded mostly by Zimbabweans and thus is accountable and if he as an appointed leader does not know this then he is not fit to run the U.Z. or any government institution. This is total arrogance and unacceptable from a public servant. Nyagura not all Zimbabweans might not know how universities but they have a right to ask any questions which pertain to their hard earned cash.

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    Sekuru Mapenga 8 years ago

    Nyagura is entirely unsuited to be VC of UZ. He has totally personalised this important post and survives only by political patronage from Chombo and Mugabe.
    He has no support from the academic community.

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    Nyagura you will jobless soon. Watch the space ! Mari neminda torai kutsika moyo wamira but not our pride. You can steal our money but not our pride !

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    Lol. It reminds me of an uncle those years back who, after farting in our presence, he would pick up a shambok and hit those who dare to close their noses ti fend off his gaseous dischrge or those who giggled.
    That was one big fart Nyagura and you know it!

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    choo-o 8 years ago

    Nyagura, you hav been caught off balance with your hands on the till. What is motivating such arrogance in your statements? Surely the whole committee who presided over such scandal should resign and be black listed.

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    I am not so shocked to know that Mrs. Mugabe received a PhD. in humanities from Zimbabwe University. What surprises me is, that why so many people in Zimbabwe are so caught up with Grace Mugabe’s degree? How is it effecting the realities on the ground such as the economic woes of the country? Aren’t there things far more important than getting so riled up with her degree? Or is there an agenda behind character mutilation or defamation? I was on one of America’s private University’s member of the Board of Directors and I know for fact that Mrs. Mugabe was approved for receiving a PhD. from this particular university but she instead decided to work for her PhD. with the local Zimbabwe university. So it is normal for her or anyone else to be deemed qualified to receive such an advanced degree if one is qualified. I also fully support and respect the position of Vice Chancellor of the University for not revealing any particular records to the public under some vague and self-serving political environment of those whose mission is to somehow find ways and means to deface an cause unnecessary humiliation to the first lady. I know there are those who will always hate those in power regardless of how good or bad one may be. I am also aware of the most difficult economic situation Zimbabwe is facing but at the same time, I am also aware of our American and EU’s economic disasters on hand which is far far worse than Zimbabwe’s. Wanna really know what are the American and EU’s economic disasters? Google it!

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      kalulu 8 years ago

      Since you appear to know about Mrs Mugabe’s intentions to study for a PHD degree could tell us when she wanted to enrol with ban American university and when she enrolled with the UZ as well as when she completed and submitted her thesis.

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      You Sir or Madam, I can’t tell, are full of it. I am only responding to your post because I have time to waste, otherwise it is not worth my time. How “clever” of you to say you were a member of the Board of Directors at “one of America’s private universities” without giving any further details. What is the name of that university you were a board member of? When was that? I am sure you are not going to say for obvious reasons. That university does not exist and if it does it is one of those uncredited ones which even you, Ed Melik Esq., are too embarrassed to say. And, let me add whilst I am at it, Ed Melik Esq., just like the University you were a board member of you too does not exist and if you do the title Esq. is a self granted title from the same discredited university you were a board member of. Go ahead continue licking the Mugabes’ behinds, you will also be given a PhD degree and outshine yourself. Grace Mugabe is a public figure and everything she does is of interest to us Melik. Google it, idiot.

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      Tinomunamataishe 8 years ago

      @Ed Melik, you say you are “surprised” and that gives away the fact you have no idea of how this corrupt award of a PhD to a candidate who does not deserve it tarnishes all others who have worked hard to achieve the same award in the past. It also affects those who are currently studying at the university for when they finish the PhD will be viewed with suspicion. Mind you for some people this is three to four years full time study they would have lost because of Grace.

      The UZ should come clean on how Grace obtained her qualifications so that people know exactly how she achieved that award. Grace is not known for academic excellence and therefore questions will always be asked and eyebrows raised.

      Also what do you mean she was approved for receiving a PhD? I thought everyone first becomes a candidate and when they have finished those studies then they get approved to receive PhD.

      The rest of the post about the sanctions mantra deserves no response.

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        I’m not surprised at the responses from all those who disagree with their government and in a democracy this norm and not an exception. Let me ask you Mr. Tinomunamataishe, what those who have in the past or may in the future receive a PhD. from UZ are doing with their PhDs? How many of such PhDs. do you know of are flipping hamburgers and working pumping gas at the gas stations in UK, USA. South AFrica and other countries? How many US and other country’s PhDs. are doing the same? So it’s just a bloated nonsense by all those who hate their government regardless how good or bad it may be. Obviously most of the readers of this news media outlet including the editorial staff and reporters are anti-government and will not spare one opportunity to deface and defame any member of the present government of Zimbabwe. I like someone from all the nay-sayers name one leader among those trying to take place of Mugabe who offers a real genuine solution to Zimbabwe’s economic disaster! Name one with credible qualifications and plans of economic plans. I bet anyone who can come up with such a name or names would have direct or indirect subservient alliance with the enemies of Zimbabwe namely the criminal West! Without any such leaders with their hands out to the West can’t possibly offer any possible solutions. If there’s such a leader who has the answer for all the problems of Zimbabwe, then why such a leader has not yet emerged as the possible replacement to the present leader of Zimbabwe? Does one among all of you have one realistic and practical idea of how to solve Zimbabwe’s economical problems? What is the solution? Any one?//

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          Yes. Hang every member of Zanu PF from the highest building in Harare, and get on with building a decent, flourishing economy where everyone from every tribe can be what they can be.

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      Your support is of no consequence as you are not even Zimbabwean. As someone said keep your hat on so that we don’t have to witness the void in your head.

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      Mena Bona 8 years ago

      Do you think anyone believes a word you say? NO THEY DON’T.
      No one gets a doctorate in Philosophy in three months except in Mugabelalaland. This is not only disGracefull, but undermines all those genuine degrees that real students have worked for from that, now joke, of a university. Who will look seriously at any degree from that university any longer. NO ONE. Shame on you. Shame on that now defunct university. Shame on Zimbabwe. This rubbish degree will surely make the Guiness Book of Records. Or the Worlds most ridiculous Stories, or both.

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        Dear Mena Bona, you say “Who will look seriously at any degree from that university any longer. NO ONE”. Well, that’s exactly right… NO ONE. Because having a PhD. from Zimbabwe or even from Oxford of Harvard doesn’t really matter because one’s degree is as good as the holder of such a degree makes use of it. You and I and many others know of many ivy league universities and college graduates are sitting home wasting their lives being couch potatoes because in reality there aren’t many compatible employment or even small business opportunities out there. I agree with the issue of receiving a degree through whatever means, but what one can do with such a degree is the question. If Mrs. Mugabe is going to apply for a teaching position with such a degree then the question of the legitimacy of such a degree is important but if it is something of a vanity type then who cares. Obviously, this issue has become a very contentious one in Zimbabwe due to President Mugabe’s opponents and their never-ending strife to somehow topple his regime for some “wishful” savior who has the panacea to turn Zimbabwe into a glaring example of economic achievements. It will not happen because the world is a cesspool of desperate and devious opportunists running the globe with a diabolical and sinister plan where Zimbabwe is not a game changer in any shape of form. And thanks God that she is not, otherwise you’ll have a US/Israeli/UK military base right in the middle of Harare! So don’t wish for the change that seems to have a promise of better life without any sensible or practical solutions to solve Zimbabwe’s dire economic situation because there’s not one leader among those screaming for the departure of the present regime except their subservient comittments to the West and are nothing more than their puppet like rest of the Europe, the Middle East, and a few others in between! Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and others have done the same what the opposition of Zimbabwe are asking for. There are very good chances that Zimbabwe will get the Iraqi-Libyan treatment because the “Angels of the West” will only be there to steal and loot all the natural assets as they have done in the last 300 or so years! If Zimbabwean are not willing to tough it out now, they will loose whatever good or bad they have now! Because West has only one interest and that is, to steal and pillage Zimbabwe in particular but Africa in general, and its natural resources. Nothing else. History speaks for itself of the generosity and the collaborations of the West with Africa!

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    wethu 8 years ago

    Anyone who has worked hard to get a university degree can’t wait to talk about what they were studying, the VC, under normal circumstances, should be proudly giving us Grace’s thesis details and referring this reporter to her supervisors

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    Baba Jukwa's Tokoloshe 8 years ago

    Aha! The Tokolshe has been at the university and they are now all serious about their corruption – but the Tokoloshe is giggling at them all. They are so corrupt and evil that they think that being authoritive and angry will mean the people will believe their lies! The Tokoloshe laughs again and is after them.

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    Ed Malik you are spreading hogwash and your American University stinks. We are challenging the excesses of this regime and its incensitivity to civil behaviour. This culture has created enormous problems for us and will continue to do so.until these cluquish tendncies stop. And oh yes we have every right to air our disapproval.

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    Dr. O 8 years ago

    Ed, for someone with a law degree you’re a bit naive, but there again it looks like you’re weighing in on a country that you have never experienced first hand. However, as someone who grew up there, and someone who came to the U.S and actually earned a doctorate, the fact that Grace was handed a PhD for kicks and giggles is a kick in the face to those of us who have actually earned our letters through due process. Yes I know perfectly well of the impending economic situation in most of the Western world, it will affect everyone, but don’t forget that as you sit in your Los Angeles office that given how wealthy Americans are, that we’ll still be ok while everyone else in the third world gets hit even harder and has to constantly deal with the rot that is their leadership who constantly takes what does not belong to them. Don’t forget its this same issue of ‘taking what’s not theirs’ by the elite that got the country, and economy into the position that it currently is in, and that my ignorant American colleague, is why Zimbabweans are fixated on Grace’s PhD, as its clearly been awarded in a fashion that was not earned.

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    Hahahaha! So Grace Mugabe was accepted to study for her PHD at an American university? If so, how did she intend to attend? The USA will only grant her a visa to accompany her john, I mean her husband, when he bleats at the UN. Otherwise she is unwelcome in that country. I do not think that any institution of higher learning in the USA would want to be associated with the wife of a murderer.

    That statement sir, is a whopper! It’s right up there with Gideon Gono’s assertion that the USA once asked him to serve on the board of directors of the IMF or World Bank – I’ve forgotten which one he claimed. ZANU-PF and their sycophants can certainly lay it on thick, but it’s always clear when they are lying.

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      Angela Wigmore 8 years ago

      Perhaps Gideon Gono meant he was offered the position to SERVE TEA to the board of directors!

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    tonyme 8 years ago

    I studied for a doctorate. My dissertation is in the University library. My thesis was published and other students can research referencing my dissertation. That is how doctoral materials are circulated. If Nyagura does not understand that then he does not fit to be in the position. Better still what is there to hide if all other student qualifications are made public and available to the public. Also it is public knowledge that a student can’t complete a doctorate in seven months without a valid B.S.or M.A. So professor Nyagura all Zimbabweans are not idiots.

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      Don Cox 8 years ago

      “My thesis was published and other students can research referencing my dissertation. That is how doctoral materials are circulated. ”

      And nowadays there is almost always a PDF file of the Thesis on line. Nobody wants to keep their research secret.

      So where is the PDF of Grace Mugabe’s thesis ?

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    Jake PhD 8 years ago

    I would like the Zim Independent to know that my PhD is legitimate. I got it from the Chuck Norris University, after a very testing eleven week course.

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    masvukupete 8 years ago

    Maybe we should also analyse “Prof” Nyagura’s academic credentials. As I have said so many times Zimbabweans went to school but learnt nothing as exemplified by the our most learned Vice Chancellor of our most prestigious university. In my head NUST has always been shoulders above from the day it was started in 1991, unless they award Grace a professorship, quite possible this is Zimbabwe. Hanzi Bob Mugabe has principles more than Tsvangison, reverenai nhema vanhu ve Zimbabwe tione kuti munizvikepi. Isu ana “unpatriotic” masvukupete tichingoseka zvedu, kutyei.

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    tfara 8 years ago

    After years of study and dedication, Levi Nyagura has wiped out any standing he had with other academics and institutions of learning beyond our boarders. UZ is a public institution sponsored by the public’s money and as such they have every right to inquire about any process or issue. Should the Vice Chancellor feel the public is not knowledgeable as to the way the University works, instead of insulting them, he should take time to carefully explain how it works.
    Shame

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    Kakwinya 8 years ago

    They are busy trying to doctor a PhD for her in the shortest possible time which is going to be scandalous as they are going to end up plagirising someone

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      How long did it take them to announce the original 2008 election results? About 5-6 weeks? That’s about how long they’ll need to find a thesis for Disgrace to attach her name to.

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    tapiwa 8 years ago

    Ed Melik, Esq the problem with Grace’s Phd is a fraud, one just given to her because Joice had completed her Phd and Grace did not want to be outdone. Though it is possible for one to receive a Phd without actually studying or undertaking research even those procedures where not followed that is what makes her Phd a fraud. The conferment of the Phd was a political statement rather than anything else,remember Grace is indirectly going for the vice presidency