Grace PhD: UZ boss’ acquittal bid fails

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By Court Reporter

HARARE: University of Zimbabwe (UZ) vice chancellor Levi Nyagura had his application against further remand trashed Monday the prosecutors indicated that his case was ready for trial.

Nyagura had argued that he has been on remand for too long, but magistrate Victoria Mashamba told him it was too early to complain.

The magistrate also ruled that since the State indicated that everything was set for his trial to commence there was no reason to free him.

Prosecuting, Michael Reza told court that the docket was now complete, adding that even witnesses were available.

The case was postponed to August 3 for determination of a trial date.

Nyagura is in trouble for allegedly awarding former First Lady Grace Mugabe a doctorate without following procedures in 2014.

Senior academic staff in the UZ’s department of sociology raised concerns regarding the process that was followed in awarding the degree.

However, Nyagura, through his lawyers Advocate Lewis Uriri, says the State has no case against him since even the higher education minister distanced itself from the controversy.

According to prosecutors, the correct procedure according to the senior academic staff is that a supervisor for a PhD student must be approved by a departmental board.

Only the board is mandated to accept applications and allocate supervisors to students in terms of general academic regulations for the post graduate degrees of UZ.

In this case, Nyagura reportedly usurped the board’s powers and covertly appointed two professors to supervise Grace Mugabe.

Prosecutors further claim that some of the academic staff who should have participated in the process were side-lined.