Zimbabwe’s opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change party led by Welshman Ncube, has reportedly said that former first lady Grace Mugabe must be arrested and prosecuted over her controversially attained PhD.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, MDC spokesperson, Kurauone Chihwayi, said that Grace was “accused number one” in her PhD saga.
Grace, whose husband resigned in November under pressure from the military, received the doctorate from the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) in 2014 amid allegations she did not study for it.
She was awarded the degree after just months of study. Former president Robert Mugabe was the UZ chancellor at the time.
Doctorates typically required several years of full-time research and writing.
The country’s anti-graft agency recently indicated that it was investigating one of the UZ lecturers, who supervised Grace’s PhD thesis.
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Committee (ZACC) said that Professor Claude Mararike faced arrest once investigations were concluded.
The UZ head Levi Nyagura was also arrested early this month over the controversial awarding of the PhD to Grace.
Investigators said they had arrested Nyagura over the suspected fraudulent awarding of a doctorate to the former first lady.
But Chihwayi maintained that that the former first lady was the “real culprit”.
Chihwayi said his party believed that Grace initiated the saga, and as such, must be charged, as the scandal had “tarnished the integrity of Zimbabwe’s education system”.
“As the MDC, it is our conviction that the real culprit here is Grace Mugabe. We believe that she initiated the whole embarrassing academic scandal. In our view Grace is accused number one,” Chihwayi was quoted as saying.
‘No evidence to probe Grace’
Last week, ZACC reportedly said that the ongoing investigation into Grace’s PhD would not lead to her arrest.
ZACC chairperson, Gordon Nguni, said that Grace could have been an “innocent beneficiary of a fraudulent academic degree”.
Nguni said that there was no evidence linking the former first lady to the violation of university regulations.
“There is no evidence to probe Grace. Grace is not a University of Zimbabwe official. She does not know the rules of how people are granted PhDs.
“We are investigating those people who knew the regulations and who fraudulently did whatever they did… we are probing those university authorities who violated university regulations,” Nguni was quoted as saying.