Grace Mugabe’s PhD must be investigated

BRUISED but determined to cling to power, the Zanu PF regime led by President Robert Mugabe, whose interest seems to be safeguarding his family interests by manoeuvring his wife in the succession race, pulled a shocker last week by enabling the First Lady to secure a PhD from the University of Zimbabwe.

Candid Comment with Godwell Gwavava

Grace was among the 3 274 graduands capped by Mugabe, Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), with a PhD degree in the Faculty of Social Studies.

She was capped along with Vice-President Joice Mujuru, who also graduated with a PhD under the Faculty of Commerce. Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora also got a PhD, while a number of politicians were capped.

However, for now most people’s concern is Grace because of her position in politics and society. Interest in her affairs has been heightened by her recent plunge into active Zanu PF politics.

Getting a PhD varies according to country and institution. Depending on the specific field of study, completion of a PhD programme can take three to six years.

Grace, who on the face of it is now more educated than Mugabe, must be extraordinarily intelligent to have got it in far less than three years as it appears.

While details of how she got the PhD are still sketchy, what is clear though is that her degree seems to be more of a product of patronage than academic excellence. But it’s more about UZ than Grace.

Queries that quickly come to mind include whether, in the first place, she met requirements to study for it at UZ? While universities admit PhD applicants on a case-by-case basis and requirements vary, usually the prospective student must have completed an undergraduate honours degree with quality grades or a master’s degree.

Typically one should have shown evidence of previous academic excellence and future potential.

So in Grace’s case, what was the basis of her admission? When did she register? How long did she take to finish her PhD? Who was her supervisor?

Before whom did she defend her thesis? Did she ever write or publish anything in academic journals for peer review? Can she now stand up and honestly call herself a scholar?

Mugabe, being a holder of several degrees, should be aware that academic accomplishment and integrity are earned, not acquired through patronage and influence.

Mugabe studied for his degrees and should know this, although it would be interesting to know, as a matter of fact, how many did he actually study for, when and with which universities.

While Grace deserves the benefit of the doubt, lack of information and transparency about her PhD put her and UZ under scrutiny.

The trouble with Grace’s PhD is not only the degree itself. It’s the impact and implications of that on the UZ, its academia, alumni and the education system.

While some people study properly for their qualifications, it seems others might be getting degrees through the backdoor, manipulating, abusing and degrading the UZ and the education system. If that’s what UZ leaders and Grace did, then they must be investigated for academic fraud.



15 Responses to Grace Mugabe’s PhD must be investigated

  1. Patriot September 19, 2014 at 10:52 am #

    musaite majerasi, makundwa baba! Honorary or otherwise our First Lady deserves it! Great charity work etc etc!

    • Cde September 19, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

      Do you have a true UZ degree yourself Cde to know what it takes?

  2. Goredema September 19, 2014 at 11:03 am #

    if it was honanary, noone would have complained. Mapfumo, Muzenda etc got their honarary degrees. But cheating and using political influence to get a PHD in 4 months is above the “normal” corruptuion in this country esp for a dull person like Grace who got 2 points at A level, a couple of 8-18% course marks at attempted undergrad which took 8 years to be withrawn! and suddenly she can write a whole phd in 4 months! kkkkk mafunny! corruption yaMugabe yazoenda kumalevels anosvodes chaiko. isu makaranga todzidza zvomene feya feya! izvi ndezvemazezuru anotya chikoro izvi.

    • masaki September 19, 2014 at 2:35 pm #


    • James Mago September 19, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

      How does the Karanga-Zezuru element come into your argument?

  3. chitoporo September 19, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    Grace atisetera ma Levels akaipa. A kid called Tocky head him singing

  4. Me too please ... September 19, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

    I need a Please hire desperate (Phd) by Monday to open my surgery. Is the UZ open over the weekend ?

  5. magame September 19, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    A real master stroke by ngwena. Make the nation so repulsed by graces actions( organising her undesreved rise in zanu pf and organise her an undeserved Phd) so that bob feels she and the kids will not be safe except if a hard man takes over from him. Enter ngwena tobthe rescue. Bob inevitably moves into the ngwena camp.

  6. Wezhira Wezhara September 19, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    People are assuming a lot…who says she registered 4 months ago? They only ANNOUNCED it 4 months ago kuti she was registered for a PhD…she completed her honours degrees from China in 2011 and could have been registered from 2011 till now which is 3 years and that’s how Long it takes for PhD ‘full time’…so before people get jealous and overworked let the facts speak first

  7. magezatsvimbo September 19, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

    UZ yachepeswa neZanu, vese macommanders emasoja ave nemadegrees from UZ

  8. Umbez September 21, 2014 at 10:46 am #

    The reputation of the UZ is at stake because it has been sucked up into the Zpf political machinations. We are left with loads of questions. Fine we know she has a BA in Chinese Languages. What dd she do for hr Hons and Masters? if PHDS can be done at such breathtaking speed then Grace is a brilliant scholar. This is a far cry of what we know. Mrs. Mugabe flunked her studies wth a British university in 2004. Now this. UZ is becoming a Mickey Mouse institution.

  9. Getrude September 21, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

    kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk I am ashamed I went To UZ

  10. stcwejente September 22, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    Ma1 ma honorary degrees ave kutengeswa pambare musika kkkkkkkkkkkk

  11. BOSSMAN September 27, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    kkkkkk, munemajerasi

  12. uzstudent September 28, 2014 at 10:08 pm #

    we need an urgent external audit team to undertake audits from Nyagura himself down to maGB…

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