Prof Nyagura arrested over Grace PhD

Professor Levi Nyagura

Professor Levi Nyagura

Freeman Razemba and Daniel Nemukuyu, Harare Bureau
UNIVERSITY of Zimbabwe Vice Chancellor Professor Levi Nyagura was arrested yesterday on allegations of abuse of office over the awarding of a Doctor of Philosophy degree to former First Lady Grace Mugabe.

Prof Nyagura was arrested in Harare and is likely to appear in court today.

Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) spokesperson Ms Phyllis Chikundura confirmed the arrest.

“Yes, he has been arrested on allegations of abuse of office over the doctorate of former First Lady Grace Mugabe,” she said. “He is detained at Mabelreign Police Station and he will appear in court tomorrow (today).”

Prof Nyagura is being accused of unprocedurally awarding the Doctor of Philosophy degree without the approval of both the University Council and the Senate Committee.

He recently blasted lecturers in the Department of Sociology for challenging the awarding of the contentious doctorate, saying they were “ignorant Messrs and doctors”, with no academic capacity to supervise a PhD student.

In a recent interview with our Harare Bureau on demands by 10 lecturers for the university to revoke Mrs Mugabe’s PhD, Prof Nyagura said PhD students were supervised by the post-graduate centre and not by a teaching department.

He dismissed allegations that the thesis was not in the library until this year, but was deposited in 2014.

Prof Nyagura said Mrs Mugabe’s thesis was supervised by two professors, who also supervised former Vice President Joice Mujuru.

Supervised by Professor Claude Mararike, Mrs Mugabe graduated with the Doctor of Philosophy in the Faculty of Social Studies in September 2014.

Through their lawyer, Ms Fiona Iliff from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, the lecturers said they were shocked to hear that Mrs Mugabe had been awarded a doctorate from their department when they never saw her application, acceptance letter, supervision and even awarding of the degree.

The 10 lecturers were Prof Rudo Gaidzanwa, Drs Sandra Bhatasara, Julius Musevenzi, Watch Ruparanganda, Gutsa, Mandizadza, Sadomba, Mate and Messrs Nelson Muparamoto and a T Chevo.

With regards to Professor Mararike’s appointment, the lecturers alleged that he was appointed without their consultation as stipulated in the ordinance regulations.

The arrest of Prof Nyagura came after a Harare magistrate had issued a warrant empowering ZACC to search and seize all documents relevant to its probe on whether or not he corruptly awarded Mrs Mugabe the doctoral degree.

Provincial magistrate Mr Elisha Singano directed the UZ registrar or any other senior official at the institution to provide a set of relevant documents, records and articles to the investigators.

The documents ordered to be availed included Dr Mugabe’s pre-registration application form, her research proposal submitted to the Department of Sociology, minutes of the departmental board assigning a supervisor to Mrs Mugabe, academic certificates of her supervisor, minutes showing that the doctoral degree passed through the Academic Committee, and minutes of the UZ senate recommending to the university council the conferment of the doctorate on Mrs Mugabe.

Mr Singano directed the university to allow ZACC access to minutes of the University Council recommending to the University Chancellor the conferment of the doctorate on Mrs Mugabe, copies of progress reports at Post Graduate Centre, copies of contract of research assistant and contract of teaching assistant in respect of Mr Justice Tandire.

ZACC must also be furnished with the UZ Faculty Ordinance number 44, UZ quality assurance guidelines and benchmarks for management and supervision of higher degrees by research, General Academic Regulations for Post-Graduate Degrees of the university of Zimbabwe 1998/99 Volume 11, as well as copies of the transcript, notification and Doctor of Philosophy Degree awarded to Mrs Mugabe.

UZ has since filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court to set aside the search warrant, arguing that it was illegal.

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  • Tsumele Masenyane

    This is mind boggling,why arrest the oldman,the guy was told to give this PHD to former first lady and who would’ ve said no? This was just an instruction and there is absolutely nothing else Mr Nyagura would have said other than just to oblige. Why are they not arresting the owner of the fake phd also because am sure she’s still in the country?

    • silver

      so how many phds and degrees have been secretly dished out on a silver platter by mararike and levy? …..kkkkkkkk and they thought they were above the law just like chihuri and this zimsec director Esau ndanga…….ED is here sweep all the rot away….

      • zibulo

        mararike , the academic who somehow defiled himself by aligning with a docator. surely , you must be educated but if you are God-less you will always shamed. remember what Claude used to say about other zimbabweansback then in the gugurahundi years, praise worshipping. so it means education to a foolish person is useless, wakadzidza kkkkk

        • eh whatty ?

          kkk ? wtf are you saying or trying to say? are you mentally challenged when it comes to speech or writing ?

    • Mumanyikawakaroka

      I equally sympathise with the oldman for the country had degenerated into lawlessness and surely he would have paid with his life for refusing. But the situation has changed and he should have reported as soon as the situation allowed or at least plead the defence of duress. But now the oldman, instead of pleading duress, is trying by all means to defend the crime and victimise the whistle blowers. That makes him an abet and should face the music.

      • benjamin


    • Onini Yekera

      Perhaps only full disclosure asap might save his bacon !

    • zibulo

      problem is that he seems an arrogant person, listen to his comments, denigrating other staff members, so he will not repent. Its up to him to plead his case.

    • benjamin

      He had every chance to spill the beans soon after last years revolution and make it clear that he awarded the degree under duress…. But no, he chose to be arrogant and try to defend his actions, even insulting those who dared raise the issue.

  • Concerned Citizen

    This has been long overdue. ZACC has to deal with the accomplices as well. The so called supervisors. Whilst at it ZACC please investigate the doctorate awarded to Gono when he was chairman of the University council as this appears to have been some corporate incest and possible corruption.

  • mtshayisa

    There is a term ‘resign’. He would be engaged at any upright university if he was known to have resigned for a dignified cause

  • m. c.

    an eye for an eye makes the world blind … #handei tione

  • Mokoena

    ZACC can you please come to NUST something fishy is happening in the awarding of construction tenders!The management from the Registrar to the VC are corrupt and incompetent.

  • simbangwerume

    ZACC must visit all State Universities, the rot and abuse of resources is alarming.

  • Ton van Der Parker

    ZACC must visit MSU immediately


    Just leave the old guy alone, he was forced to do so by the powerful stop it Amai. You should arrest the former first lady for forcing Nyakura to award her a degree

    • Bruce G

      Levy chose to enjoy the fruits of his association with marujata thinking the dictatorship would never end.l feel sorry for the Tandire guy who was allowed to stay on as teaching assistant and lecturer when hodes of others just as qualified as him, if not better, were given the boot by levy.he was protected by claude

      • Roscoe

        Hahaha…the ‘association’ happened to be fertile

        • Bruce G

          but anyura manje. ntombizodwa arikudya mari dzaakaba iye levy kujeri. Kakaoma musoro ka levi, aituka madoctor nema professor kuti they cant supervise phds iye achiziva hake kuti akapiwa mari from that “fertile” association of his na ntombizodwa marufu

          • Roscoe

            Are inferring this Ntombizodwa is the same person who recently led to one infamous geriatric’s demise…m lost

          • Roscoe


  • Tsumele Masenyane

    I notice the majority of forumites here concur that Mr Nyagura had the opportunity to plead his case and come out in the open but unfortunately he was adamant and played truancy with the truth,then am also joining the majority in calling for his head. I also agree that if he had refused or resigned in protest,he would have been rewarded elsewhere for standing for the truth. Thank you for a constructive debate!


      I simply cant believe this is the same UR we grew up knowing as an institution of excellence in the Rhodesian days. Yaaah neh, these Shona people – I surrender shuwa!!

  • Eri

    I really don’t think Nyagura is to blame here. This case should be abandoned and ZACC/Police directed to cases where they can better serve the nation.


    University of Zimbabwe – a Glorified High School!!


    Shona standard have always been very low!!