SUSPENDED University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Vice Chancellor, Levi Nyagura has argued that either Mugabe or Mnangagwa as successive university Chancellors know how Grace Mugabe got her PHD hence, should also be arrested because they are the only ones reposed with power to rescind or confer a degree.

Nyagura is on trial for allegedly abusing his powers as a public officer to grant former First Lady Grace a doctorate degree in 2014. The academic was excepting to the charge he is facing when his trial commenced before Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube, Tuesday.

Through his lawyer, Advocate Sylvester Hashiti, Nyagura argued that the State failed to consider that the PhD in question remains extant and its validity cannot be challenged by a criminal process.

“Section7 of the UZ Act reposes the power to rescind and set aside degrees in the Chancellor,” said Nyagura in his application.

“The current Chancellor Dambudzo Mnangagwa has not revoked this degree. The former Chancellor Robert Mugabe approved and conferred the degree. It remains valid at law and as such the process by which it was conferred remains valid. No criminal sanction can attach. His acts are prima face valid.”

In his application, Nyagura further argued that if the authority reposed with the power to revoke same considers it valid, therefore a court cannot order otherwise in criminal proceedings.

“The Chancellor Emmerson Mnangagwa or Robert Mugabe is (the) answerable person and must instead face the charges.

“If he retains and keeps valid an invalid degree, then he is abusing office and ought to be hauled before these courts. Accused is the wrong person to charge,” said the lawyer.

Nyagura also argued that he does not support the prosecution “and in fact does not complain about the degree.”new zimbabwe