Zimbabwe Higher Education Minister refuses to answer question about Grace Mugabe’s PhD


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Zimbabwe’s Higher Education Minister Professor Amon Murwira has refused to answer a question on what the government is going to do about former first lady Grace Mugabe’s doctorate degree which she earned in record time in 2014 saying the matter is sub judice.

He had been asked by Mabvuku-Tafara legislator James Maridadi what his ministry had put in place to ensure that the awarding of university degrees is protected in view of the fact that Grace Mugabe was awarded a PhD by the University of Zimbabwe “when she did not earn it”.

Murwira said he would not respond to the question because the issue was sub judice, “the issue is before the courts”.

Maridadi argued that only the issue Grace Mugabe was sub judice and not the general principle of ensuring that universities did not give degrees to people that have not earned them.

“Hon. Speaker, on the issue of university degrees, they are issued through appropriate means.  What that basically means is that university degrees are issued by academic institutions following academic rules and these rules are followed by Senate, Council and then awarded by the Chancellor,” Murwitra responded.

“So, the issue of issuing degrees is basically an academic matter and it is dealt with adequately using academic regulations at different institutions.”

Q &A:

HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question goes to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Hon. Prof. Murwira. Mr. Speaker I wish to ask the Hon. Minister to kindly furnish the nation with what has been put in place to ensure that the awarding of university degrees is protected. I am saying this in relation to the PhD awarded to Mrs. Grace Mugabe by the University of Zimbabwe when she did not earn it. Hon. Minister, please respond to that and tell us also what you have done to withdraw that university degree from Mrs. Grace Mugabe.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Mr. Speaker Sir, the question of the Hon. Member is noted, but I will not respond to the question because it is sub judice, the issue is before the courts.

HON. MARIDADI: On a follow up, the second part could have been sub judice concerning the First Lady’s fake PhD.  I am talking of the general principle of ensuring that universities do not give degrees to people that have not earned them.  That is not sub judice.

HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Hon. Speaker, on the issue of university degrees, they are issued through appropriate means.  What that basically means is that university degrees are issued by academic institutions following academic rules and these rules are followed by Senate, Council and then awarded by the Chancellor. So, the issue of issuing degrees is basically an academic matter and it is dealt with adequately using academic regulations at different institutions.

(197 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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