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Wednesday 19 September 2018
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Fresh pressure on the Mugabes as academics protest PhD

Dons demand probe of doctorate degree awarded in 2014

 

For the former first lady of Zimbabwe, Grace Mugabe, and indeed the Robert Mugabe household, a controversial PhD secured in 2014 is now contributing towards establishing that the days of trouble are not over for the family at the moment.

When in August 2014, then First Lady, Grace Mugabe was conferred with a mystery doctorate degree that she had reportedly only enrolled for three months earlier, eyebrows were raised. Now out of office, academics at the Sociology Department of the University of Zimbabwe have requested the anti-corruption commission to undertake up a probe

Describing their initial reaction when the issue came up, they stated in their petition:

“This was a shock to many members of the department as most members never (saw) or heard about the proposal, progress reports, thesis examiners and outcome of such a study by the candidate,”

“The awarding of the degree has therefore not gone through processes that other candidates are subjected to which makes the awarding of the degree very suspicious,” their petition outlines.

Grace had been a typist in the Presidency before catching the fancy of the world’s then most educated leader who later became her husband.

Was she anxious to match Mugabe’s seven academic and 11 honorary degrees?

And should Grace’s degree be revoked, it would not be the first for the family as Robert also had three of his honorary degrees revoked by the universities of Edinburgh, Massachusetts and Michigan State between 2007 and 2008.

 

President Robert and Grace Mugabe at Zimbabwe’s 2017 Independence celebrations. She was widely tipped to succeed him in office until a military putsch swept both of them out of office. Photo credit: AFP

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