- Published on 04 July 2014
- Written by The Zimbabwean
Grace Mugabe has registered for a doctoral degree at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ).
Sources privy to the development said Grace had successfully applied for a Doctor of Philosophy degree and had already completed her proposal, which a university higher degrees committee was reviewing.
She chose a UZ sociology professor widely considered to be sympathetic to Zanu (PF), as her supervisor. The lecturer, who could not be reached for a comment, has over the years appeared on national television as a commentator and defender of the Zanu (PF) land reform programme.
"She will be doing her doctoral research in the sociology department; she has chosen to research on child rights," said a reliable source.
The only publicly known qualification that Grace possesses is a first degree in Chinese language that she completed in 2011 after four years of distance learning with the People's University of China.
It was not immediately clear if Grace had completed a post-graduate qualification but, according to the source, she could still qualify to undertake doctoral studies provided she had an appropriate first degree and sufficient academic research history.
UZ has previously declined to accept students with degrees from the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU), a correspondence tertiary institution headed by Grace's former personal tutor, Primrose Kurasha.
Kurasha, then a Pro-Vice Chancellor at ZOU, used to give Grace private lessons in the early 2000s. She was elevated to her current position in 2003 following the departure of the founding Vice Chancellor, Peter Dzvimbo.
ZOU came under the spotlight several years ago when it awarded a Master of Business Administration degree to a top security officer even though, said insiders, he never attended a single tutorial and had his assignments and examinations written by university lecturers. The army boss was also given the best student award for his class.
Unconfirmed media reports indicate that, in the mid-2000s, Grace was forced to abandon her Bachelor of Arts degree in English by the University of London due to a string of poor results. After enrolling through correspondence in 1996, she is reported to have passed only two subjects in eight years, after which she was deregistered.
Prisca Khumalo from the UZ Information and Public Relations department said her office could not comment as her boss, Dennis Rwafa, was away in South Africa. The Vice Chancellor's office had not responded to e-mailed questions at the time of going to print.