Grace Mugabe fake degree trial to resume in January

November 25, 2020

Staff Reporter

The trial of former University of Zimbabwe (UZ) vice-chancellor, Levi Nyagura, accused of awarding the late ex-president Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace, a doctorate without following proper procedures will resume early next year.

The Harare chief magistrate, Munamato Mutevedzi, on Tuesday set 11 to 15 January as the trail period.

Nyagura was arrested on 16 February 2018 over the case.

The State is insisting that Grace, who was never investigated for the alleged fraudulent degree, did not work for the doctorate.

Nyagura denies the charges.

On Monday, Harare chief magistrate, Munamato Mutevedzi rapped Nyagura for deliberate delays by constantly changing his defence lawyers.

Prosecutor Tapiwa Godzi had omplained that Nyagura seemed to be changing lawyers to buy time.  

Mutevedzi said:“This matter has been pending since 2018 and the accused person should have instructed a lawyer of his choice a long time back… I have been very tolerant with this matter. We cannot continue to be told that the matter can’t proceed to trial every time it’s set down. We cannot do what suits the defence always.”

Sometime in 2014, Nyagura allegedly undermined the authority of the UZ departmental board and the faculty of higher degrees committee.

He allegedly personally manipulated Grace’s selection for a sociology PhD, in contravention of university regulations.

Nyagura is, therefore, being accused of abusing his position, since Grace did not meet the minimum requirements to study for the doctoral degree.

She was subsequently conferred with the PhD in 2014 after reportedly “researching” for the qualification within three months.

The speaker of parliament, Jacob Mudenda this week said Grace had become law unto herself just before Mugabe was deposed with military aid in late 2017, usurping presidential powers against the constitution.

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