UZ vice chancellor reports for work despite suspension over Grace PhD

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SUSPENDED University of Zimbabwe Vice Chancellor, Professor Levi Nyagura, has been reporting for duty despite the Council of the University resolving to send him on indefinite paid leave with full benefits.

The university council resolved at a meeting last week to send Nyagura on forced leave after he was arrested on charges of abuse of office over Grace Mugabe’s PhD.

The council had noted that the Vice Chancellor could not continue to come to work as most of the state witnesses in the case were his subordinates.

Nyagura’s suspension was supposed to last until the case was finalised while Pro-Vice Chancellor Pedzisayi Mashiri would act in his absence.

But a letter by one of the university councilors, Advocate Thembinkosi Magwaliba, to the chairperson Buzwani Mothobi revealed that Nyagura was still reporting for duty.

“I have learnt over the past week that Professor Nyagura has been attending to his normal duties. He has not been issued with a letter placing him on indefinite leave as resolved by council. Consequently, the situation at the university has been highly tense and does not conduce for the discharge of the normal functions of the university by all concerned,” she wrote in a letter dated March 6, 2018 and copied to other councilors.

Magwaliba said it was Mothobi’s duty to inform Nyagura of the suspension as recommended by the Council, adding that she would not take responsibility for the failure to implement the resolution of council.

She said the decision to place Nyagura on leave was reached from a governance point of view as his continued presence made the situation at the university untenable.

“Further the current situation conduces for the prospect of the Vice Chancellor interfering with state witnesses from a risk perspective, that situation compromises the position of the University Council since it is the employer which would have allowed an untenable situation to be pertain,” the letter read.

Magwaliba said the chairperson of the university should have informed Nyagura of his suspension in writing by March 2, which he had not done, adding that it was not the duty of the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education to approve the decision of the council.

Magwaliba has previously raised concern that there were attempts by some at the university to stop the investigation into Nyagura who is accused of controversially awarding Grace Mugabe a PhD in 2014.

Former President Robert Mugabe, husband to Grace, was the Chancellor of all the universities in the country at the time by virtue of his being the Head of State and Government.