The miraculous graduate

In the last two months, Grace Mugabe, a woman whose function, until now, was largely ornamental, has risen up the food chain. Oppah Muchinguri suddenly relinquished her post as Women’s League chair and all the party structures chanted the same speech of support for Grace to take over.

Along the country’s roads, state owned Zupco buses suddenly bore the turbaned portrait of the first lady, showing just how Mugabe often fails to distinguish between party material and government property.

Someone in Zanu (PF) decided Grace was worthy of a doctorate, never mind that she flunked a BA degree with the University of London. After registering two months ago, for a degree that can take up to seven years to complete, her name miraculously appeared on the list of graduands.

Her husband, the chancellor of all state universities, smacked her on the head with a cap and, hey presto, she became ‘Doctor Grace.’ If anybody had ever wondered why it was important for Mugabe to hold the position of UZ chancellor, the reason became clear. Not only can he dictate curriculum but he can give out degrees for the sake of political expediency.

In September 2013, Mugabe attributed the gender imbalance in cabinet to the shortage of educated women in the party. His wife’s PhD is designed to make a political lightweight seem qualified for the big stage. Already rules have been bent, if not broken, for Grace. To be submitted into the party’s politburo, one is required to have experience at national level, which she obviously lacks.

Post published in: Analysis

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