OUTGOING Zanu PF women's league boss Oppah Muchinguri may just have let the cat out of the bag yesterday, revealing that President Robert Mugabe marked the First Lady Grace Mugabe's PhD papers.
Muchinguri made the remarks while addressing hundreds of vendors and cross-border traders gathered at Grace's Mazowe Children's Home to endorse her candidature ahead of next month's elective congress.
Muchinguri said Mugabe had assisted in marking Grace's thesis at their home before she was conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) titled "The Changing Social Structure, the Functions of the Family: The Case of Children's Homes in Zimbabwe".
"Amai Mugabe spent sleepless nights studying for her PhD while President Mugabe marked for her," she said unwittingly.
Muchinguri's statements will all but reignite questions about Grace's PhD, considering that her husband is not qualified to supervise a PhD candidate since he has never been a university lecturer.
The revelation is further evidence to claims that Mugabe played a role in having his wife controversially conferred with a PhD by the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) in September this year.
Mugabe is chancellor of all State universities.
The UZ is to date still to reveal Grace's supervisor, the local examiners and the external examiner who validated her thesis.
On the other hand, government officials have been at pains to justify Grace's PhD, with each explanation more bizarre than the previous one.
To further complicate issues, Grace's thesis is not available in the UZ library or online. Grace is believed to hold a degree from a Chinese university, but her academic record is less than stellar, having dismally failed her English degree studies with the University of London as an external student.
Meanwhile, the personal attacks on under-fire Vice-President Joice Mujuru continued unabated with Hurungwe East MP Sarah Mahoka saying the VP should leave office before end of next week.
"The women's league national executive must remove VP Mujuru from office next week without fail," she said.
Mujuru has been under fire from some sections of the party over allegations of corruption and plotting to topple Mugabe, charges she has denied.
Grace opened a Pandora's box last month when she publicly made the allegations during her "meet the people" tours around the country.
The president's wife claimed that Mujuru was the "real weevil" plotting to destroy the ruling party from within.
"The real weevil is VP Mujuru not the interpretation that it was Jonathan Moyo (Information minister)," she said.
The fight to remove Mujuru from her position both in government and Zanu PF has claimed scalps of several party officials and eight provincial chairpersons linked to her camp.
The anti-Mujuru campaign has been extended to Cabinet ministers and politburo members believed to be sympathetic to her.