AWARD-WINNING Zimbabwean writer Chenjerai Hove has called on Grace Mugabe to hand back her PhD.

President Robert Mugabe's wife was awarded a doctorate from the University of Zimbabwe last month. But there has been confusion over when she enrolled, with some sources saying it was only two months ago - and students want the issue investigated.

The university authorities have not yet commented on the controversy.

"It [the award] removes the integrity of our academic standing the world over," Hove told BBC Focus on Africa.

A graduate and faculty member of the University of Zimbabwe, the novelist and poet, who is living in Norway, said he had written to the vice-chancellor to demand an explanation.

"I have lost the pride and prestige of being a former student of the university which you head since our academic degrees have now become a laughing stock," he says in the letter.

His remarks come as the Zimbabwe National Students Union prepares to file a court application on Thursday demanding that the University of Zimbabwe provide details about how the First Lady came to be awarded the degree.

Amongst the concerns expressed by students is the fact that the First Lady's thesis is not available in the university's library, as would be usual.

Grace was awarded the doctorate in sociology by her husband - who is the chancellor of the university - at a ceremony on 12 September not long after she was endorsed to lead the governing Zanu PF women's wing.

Hove, an outspoken critic of President Mugabe's government, said the university needed to be more transparent about the apparent fast-tracking of the First Lady's degree.

"Her degree is not an honorary degree, it's an academic degree for academic achievement. She was supposed to have a research proposal, a supervisor, and then research and write for at least three years," he told the BBC.

"[Grace Mugabe] should be a person of honour and say, 'I did not study for this, please take it back, I made a mistake'."

If Vice-Chancellor Levy Nyagura had come under pressure to confer the degree, he should resign on ethical grounds in protest, the author said.


+2 # Brainbox 2014-10-02 15:55
There is no such thing as resigning in Zim otherwise we could have had a totally new government altogether. Its unheard of except Dr. Mtumbuka and Nkosana Moyo to mention a few vaneganda kumeso.Ko vangani vari kushandisa macertificate efake muZim kungoti iri razokurisa chete dai vakatangira pasi kutanga vatenga kana ZJC chaiyo, vachiinda stage by stage.
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Goodlife Lynus
+2 # Goodlife Lynus 2014-10-02 17:06
Brainbox ka. Lolest! Kkkkkkkkkkkkk!
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0 # Dofo 2014-10-02 18:13
Yoita madiro first familly tichachema hedu tiri zii
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0 # Alisa 2014-10-02 18:55
Matata mu Zimbabwe.
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+1 # Garwe 2014-10-02 21:49
Pane asura!
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0 # Gogodera 2014-10-03 05:58
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+1 # clemz 2014-10-03 06:08
Shame on Mugabe, but this is a lesson don't marry a small girl, now Grace is controling The once respected President. She still young n need more things, mugabe just remembe Gaddaf baba
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0 # chiro 2014-10-03 07:56
mama handzi murimbva
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0 # Musa 2014-10-03 12:25
UZ haz no such a lecturer called and neither has it had one in the past. The last time I checked he was called a reader status way below a lecturer. What is be grippinv about. He is still a reader or worse because he stopped reading. Grace read and he is now a Dr.

Give us a break. What are you doing in Norway since you love Zimbabwe and UZ so much.
UZ Lecturer
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