Posted by News Express | 17 February 2018 | 1,761 times
The uproar generated by the controversial PhD degree awarded to Zimbabwe’s former First Lady Grace Mugabe by the University of Zimbabwe in 2014 seems to have claimed its first victim following the arrest of the Vice-Chancellor Levy Nyagura.
Officials of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) arrested Nyagura and a former Sociology department chairman, Claude Mararike, who reportedly masqueraded as Grace’s supervisor to explain how the degree was awarded to Mugabe.
The former first lady was awarded the doctorate in sociology by the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) in August 2014, just three months after she was first reported to have enrolled.
The thesis was only posted onto the university website last week, four years late. Since then, it has become the subject of intense scrutiny, and ridicule.
“It’s not a PhD thesis but a mere compilation of plagiarised text and quotations from grey literature, newspaper articles, television and radio programmes.
“It does not contribute original ideas to knowledge; this is criminal and she must be sued for breaching copyright laws,” analyst Maxwell Saungweme told the private Zimbabwe Independent this week.
Writing on Twitter, Zimbabwe political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya dismissed the thesis as “the greatest academic fraud in history and Nyagura knows it”.
He said it included citations from 2016 and 2017, well after the date Grace Mugabe graduated.
“There is no fraud that beats this!” said Ruhanya, who holds a PhD in media and communications from London’s University of Westminster.
Some academics at the University of Zimbabwe had petitioned the anti-corruption commission to probe the awarding of the doctorate to Grace Mugabe.
Last month a top official at the commission confirmed receiving the petition, but said there was “no investigation regarding the PhD.”
Earlier this week Rhodes University sociologist, Kirk Helliker said most of the literature used to produce the thesis was published before 1999, meaning it is unable to make a contribution to modern theory or methodology.
Nyagura is yet to prove his innocence. (NAN)
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