Melissa Makoto and Audrey Rundofa
University of Zimbabwe students yesterday staged a demonstration and refused to write their examinations calling for the resignation of Vice Chancellor Professor Levi Nyagura. The students said they were tired of corruption at the university, including the allegedly “dubious” award of a doctor in philosophy degree (PhD) to First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe in 2014. University of Zimbabwe former students’ council secretary-general Mr Chrispen Mahachi, who was leading the protest, said they wanted Prof Nyagura to resign because he gave Dr Mugabe a PhD within three months, saying the act devalues the standards of the institution.
“This is clearly a student’s agenda as you can see our motive as students is to send a message that we are tired. Levi Nyagura must resign for donating a PhD to (First Lady)Grace Mugabe,” he said
“Our learning standards as UZ continue to deteriorate and we have moved from number 41 on the international ranking to a three-digit number, which is totally unacceptable.” Mahachi also said UZ students no longer have job security, so there was need for President Mugabe to resign.
WATCH VIDEO HERE
“Today we were supposed to start our exams, but we said we cannot because we do not have job security; we want to have job security first, we want our brothers who are unemployed who have graduated at this same institution to be employed such that when we go into the industry as well (we) will have an assurance of job security,” he said.
Tawanda Nyandoro, a student at the institution, said: “The real issue is that Levi Nyagura donated a PhD to Grace Mugabe and we are saying we want that PhD back because a student who is studying philosophy right now will feel as if that programme is worthless as it was given to (Dr) Grace Mugabe on a silver platter.”
Shepherd Raradza, another student, accused the Vice Chancellor of failing to upgrade the premier tertiary learning institution. The latest developments comes after ZANU-PF recalled President Mugabe from the position of party First Secretary on Sunday and replaced him with former Vice President Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, whom the ruling party also reinstated as a Central Committee member.