Of Jonathan Moyo and Dr DisGrace Mugabe

So the academically challenged Grace Mugabe was conferred with a PhD last year from the University of Zimbabwe. Yet leaked results from the People’s University of China indicated that the first lady had performed poorly in her studies.


Dr Grace Mugabe suddenly gained sufficient academic prowess to pull out a PhD in just two months – yet the same woman has a dented academic record, having dropped out of the University of London English Literature correspondence course between 1998-9 for failing most of the modules. She was said to have only managed to pass just one out of seven papers with some exam results having been as low as 7%.

There has been a lot of outrage in the academic community that the not-so-gifted Grace could graduate with a PhD in less than a year. Her thesis, entitled “The Changing Social Structure of the Family: The Case of Children’s Homes in Zimbabwe” was apparently so "ground-breaking and contributing enormously to the body of knowledge" that her Master’s tutor decided to upgrade it to a doctorate. This thesis is not available in the university library, as is the norm.

So this same Grace who has been struggling all her life with her studies manages to complete the PhD in under three months? Even her own husband President Robert Mugabe questioned the authenticity of the PhD and was not even ashamed to publicly declare that it is really an “achievement of ignorance”.

This is the same Grace about whom Jonathan Moyo declared to Stephen Sackur on BBC’s Hard Talk recently “there is nothing preventing Grace Mugabe from becoming the future President of Zimbabwe as long as it is the will of the people.” What rubbish! Have we finally run out of capable leaders in Zimbabwe that we will one day be ruled by Dr DisGrace Mugabe? It is cheeky of Moyo even to mention the will of the people after Zanu (PF)’s history of stealing elections as has become the tradition since 2000. One wonders whether it is the will of the people or the will of the Mugabe dynasty for Grace to be considered as a successor to the aging President.

The ousted Dr Joice Mujuru at least worked for her doctorate. It took her several years of research, together with her Master’s degree in Strategic Management, while Vice President Emmerson Munangagwa boasts of a Law degree from the University of London and a postgraduate in LLB from the University of Zambia. So Moyo and Dis-Grace can continue dreaming because even President Mugabe himself has passed a vote of no confidence in his wife by not giving her the post of Gender Minister.

In another interesting twist, the Mugabe dynasty may be growing after all through his daughter Bona Mugabe Chikore, who took an extraordinarily high profile position in the recent visit to Japan, including sitting in on the talks with senior Japanese government officials and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Bona, who also was said to have attended the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction meeting held in Japan, may be on her road to being mentored for a position in the government of Zimbabwe.

As condemned by Obert Gutu the MDC spokesperson, “This clearly shows that the State has been virtually privatised by the Mugabe dynasty. Robert Mugabe thinks that he is Zimbabwe and that Zimbabwe is Robert Mugabe …. There’s absolutely no justification why his daughter should have been included as part of the official government delegation to Japan. Last time I checked, Bona is not a government official. Why, therefore, should state funds be utilised to fund her jamboree to Japan?” queried Gutu.

Other critics, like the former special advisor to Morgan Tsvangirai, Alex Magaisa, are also warning us that Bona might be going through some grooming by her father for a political career. At 25, Bona may not be too young for a politburo or government appointment. Joice Mujuru was not much older than that when was appointed as a cabinet minister in 1980.

Post published in: Opinions

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