Suspended University of Zimbabwe vice Chancellor Levi Nyagura still insists that the Doctor of Philosophy (Phd) degree tendered to former first lady Grace Mugabe is still valid.
Nyagura filed his application for exception of charges to court today arguing that what the state is prosecuting him with does not constitute a crime.
He told the court that the degree which he is being questioned for offering it to Grace Mugabe was not illegal but was a proper procedure according to the university’s constitution.
“The charges by the state fail to consider three important facts. Firstly the PhD remains extant.
“Its validity cannot be put in question by criminal process. Section 7 of the University of Zimbabwe Act reposes the power to rescind and set aside degrees in the chancellor,” reads the application.
The exception further says, “The current Chancellor Emerson Mnangagwa has not revoked this degree and the former Chancellor Robert Mugabe approved and conferred this degree.”
Nyagura went on to say that the former first lady’s questioned degree remains valid at law and as such the process by which it was conferred valid.
He insisted that no criminal sanction can be attached and his actions are prima facie valid.
Nyagura filed his application before trial magistrate Lazini Ncube at the commencement of trial following his application of stay of proceedings was squashed at the Constitutional Court, (Con court).
The suspended UZ chancellor is answering to allegations of giving away a degree to former first lady without proper procedures.
The degree raised eyebrows of many activists including students, who held many demonstrations demanding explanations at the university premises.
The degree was awarded to Grace Mugabe during her husband, Robert Mugabe’s ‘mis-governance’ which was axed by the Mnangagwa’s new dispensation in November 2017 through a coup-de-tat.