Court rejects Grace Mugabe PhD application
Publish date: 10 September 2018
Issue Number: 790
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Zimbabwe's Constitutional Court has thrown out an application by suspended University of Zimbabwe vice-chancellor Levi Nyagura to challenge the legality of the special anti-corruption unit involved in his prosecution for allegedly awarding Grace Mugabe a PhD illegally. A report on the News24 site notes that the trial failed to take place last week after he laid a challenge against the legality of the special prosecutors appointed to handle his case. He labelled their involvement as a violation of his constitutional rights and right to a fair trial. His application reportedly said the appointment of Tapiwa Godzi and Michael Chakandida contravened the country's supreme law according to which the National Prosecution Authority and Prosecutor-General should be independent and not taking orders from the President. ‘Their (special prosecutors') salaries are paid by the President....they are bound by the Official Secrets Act,’ his lawyer Lewis Uriri said. However, Magistrate Lazini Ncube said ‘it is not clear how the accused person will be deprived of his rights’. Legalbrief reports that Nyagura is accused of approving Mugabe’s application to study a PhD in Sociology without informing the relevant faculty and department.