Grace Mugabe’s doctorate questioned

Grace, wife to President Robert Mugabe who is also the chancellor of all State universities, was on Friday conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) but insiders are querying the academic award.

Grace Mugabe
Grace Mugabe

UZ sources who spoke to The Zimbabwean claimed that Grace in fact never carried out any doctoral research.

“This is confusing. Granted, Grace was registered to study for a doctorate in the Sociology department, and her proposal was fast tracked a couple of months ago. How then can she be given a degree when she had just started?” said one of the sources at UZ.

UZ doctoral theses take at least three years to complete and are considered among the toughest to complete the world over.

The source revealed that her purported thesis was written by a sociology professor with strong links to Zanu (PF).

“This is a fuss. The professor did all the work for her. I doubt if she understands a single concept in the research she is said to have done. I wish that she would publicly explain what her thesis entails. Even when she spoke after the graduation, it was clear she lacked the depth expected of a doctoral graduate,” he added.

In July, The Zimbabwean broke the news that Grace had registered to study for a doctorate.

The story revealed that Grace’s only known lower degree was Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Chinese language which she obtained from the People’s University of China.

There is a remote relationship between her undergraduate degree and the doctoral qualification.

Grace was on Friday capped by her husband after a purported research on children’s homes.

Unconfirmed media reports indicate that, in the mid-2000s, Grace was forced to abandon her BA Arts degree in English by the University of London due to a string of poor results.

After enrolling through correspondence in 1996, she is reported to have passed only two subjects in eight years, after which she was deregistered.

Said another staffer from UZ: “This is a political conferment. A lot of politically connected individuals have been getting free degrees here and at other state universities. In fact, even private universities have joined the bandwagon as their VCs (vice chancellors seek to curry favour with the politicians and Mugabe”.

All State university VCs are considered Mugabe apologists and are accused of politicising the universities they lead.

“They should just have given her an honorary degree if they felt she deserved recognition for her charity work in the field of children’s rights.

“It seems the degree handout is meant to boost her status as she has just entered high profile Zanu (PF) politics. Mugabe as the chancellor must be ashamed of this. It brings our degrees into disrepute,” he said.

Grace was recently endorsed as the candidate for the Women’s League top post and is expected to land the position at the Zanu (PF) elective congress in December.

Some critics have speculated that Mugabe is positioning Grace to succeed him.

Post published in: News

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