Students of the University of Zimbabwe have questioned the circumstances under which wife of President Mugabe, Grace Mugabe was awarded a doctorate degree in 2014, calling for a revocation of the Ph.D.
This was part of their demands while boycotting exams as part of protest over the continued refusal of Robert Mugabe to resign as president of Zimbabwe.
The protests came after Robert Mugabe went live on state TV to defy the nation and lay out his plans for staying in power.
The students are now demanding the revocation of Grace Mugabe’s Honorary Ph.D degree.
Grace, a former typist who met the president when working in his office, she is more than 40 years younger than her husband. In 2011 she picked up an undergraduate degree from a Chinese University, having apparently carried out her studies while commuting from Harare. She was awarded the doctorate by Harare University three years later, reports The Guardian.
The students are now insisting that Ph.D degree awarded to Grace Mugabe was an academic doctorate that requires study, rather than an honorary one bestowed as an award, and three years would be a record rate of study and research even for an outstanding student. But Grace Mugabe was never seen at university, nor did she file a copy of her thesis in the university library as other PhD students must do.
“The integrity of this university was compromised when they awarded the degree to Grace,” said Presley Zirereza, a social work undergraduate. “Degrees are not awarded, they are earned. We have never seen her in our libraries or around our school. So that degree must be withdrawn.”
Many said they were thrilled by the sudden freedom to protest, after a lifetime in which challenging the government was likely to bring expulsion or worse.