By Mary Taruvinga
RULING on former University of Zimbabwe (UZ) vice Chancellor, Levi Nyagura’s application challenging prosecution was postponed to this Thursday after acting chief magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi, who is presiding over the case, failed to attend court.
Harare Regional magistrate Elijah Makomo postponed the case after prosecutors indicated that Munamato was attending to other issues in Mbare.
Nyagura is facing criminal abuse of office charges after he awarded former First Lady, Grace Mugabe a doctorate she did not study for.
Through his lawyer, Advocate Sylvester Hashiti, Nyagura challenged trial saying the culprits were former President Robert Mugabe and his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Nyagura said the two should be arrested over the allegations instead.
“The accused had no powers to award Grace with the PhD and that it was conferred by the then Chancellor,” said Hashiti adding that Mnangagwa did not revoke the degree thereby declaring it valid.
However, prosecutors defended Mugabe and his successor insisting that Nyagura was at fault.
“The charge is that the person of the vice chancellor deliberately violated rules, regulations and practices of the university in awarding Grace Marufu a PhD which amounts to criminal abuse of office.
“He falsely and fraudulently recommended the conferment of PhD to Grace Marufu to the council and chancellor.
“The attempts therefore to implicate the successive chancellors of UZ is not only dishonest but also mischievous,” said prosecutor Tapiwa Godzi of the special anti-corruption unit.
Nyagura excepted to the charges arguing that he never strayed from his line of duty adding that authorities have not revoked the degree and as such, it was still valid.
His lawyer said only the High Court had powers to hear the matter.
He also complained that his client was being subjected to selective prosecution.
Mutevedzi had rolled over the case to this Tuesday for ruling.