A JILTED man’s attempt to soil his ex-lover with academic fraud allegations, recently hit a snag after the court found no credible evidence against the woman before throwing out his US$1 200 claim for authoring a doctorate thesis.
Mr Christopher Nyangani claimed to have entered a contract in which he would write a PhD thesis for University of Zimbabwe (UZ) lecturer Dr Alice Tumbare for US$1 200, but the court ruled that the two assisted each other while in a relationship.
The court found no binding contract warranting payment of the claimed money.
Norton magistrate Mr Nyasha Vitorini said even if Mr Nyangani had truly written the thesis on behalf of Dr Tumbare, that would be an illegal contract which is unenforceable.
“The plaintiff is trying to enforce an illegal contract,” he said.
“He wrote a dissertation for defendant. This constitutes academic fraud. A party cannot enforce such a contract. Secondly, I agree with defendant’s averments that there is no evidence upon which a court could find for plaintiff.
“There is no proof of a binding contract. What plaintiff presents is, in my view, casual assistance in the context of two lovers where payment for services was never contemplated. The corrected portions of the dissertation do not show that there was any agreement that plaintiff would be compensated for his services. The defendant (Dr Tumbare) should be absolved from the instance.”
After losing the court case, Mr Nyangani wrote to officials at National University of Science and Technology (NUST) where the studies were being done and petitioned authorities at UZ to have his ex-lover investigated for academic fraud, without success.
The two stayed together as husband and wife for some time and Mr Nyangani claims he assisted Dr Tumbare writing the thesis for her studies.
In terms of the civil claim, Mr Nyangani stated that he entered into a verbal agreement with Dr Tumbare to write the thesis in 2017.
Dr Tumbare denied signing any agreement with Mr Nyangani, saying she had enough research team that was duly paid by UZ.
She indicated that there was nothing fraudulent in hiring research assistants for an academic thesis.
“The defendant is unaware of any assistance rendered by plaintiff and puts plaintiff to strictest proof of the averment,” read the defendant’s plea.
“The correct position is that the defendant was given a research grant by her employer, that is the UZ, to hire a qualified research assistant and a data capture clerk-cum analyst, which she did.
“All the personnel so engaged had valid contracts and were duly paid by the UZ in terms of the said contracts.”
The court heard that Mr Nyangani, being a non-doctorate degree holder, had no capacity to write the thesis and do all related work on behalf of Dr Tumbare.
“For the avoidance of doubt, plaintiff was not part of the research personnel as he does not qualify,” read the defendant’s plea.
“There was no need for defendant to hire the plaintiff to do the work that qualifying people were paid for.
“In any event, the plaintiff is not qualified and capable of performing duties he claims to have performed and the defendant wonders where that is coming from.”
The court heard that Dr Tumbare took care of Mr Nyangani for some time, assisting him to maintain his children with his estranged wife.