Professor Claude Gumbucha Mararike, the outspoken academic who supervised former First Lady Grace Mugabe towards the attainment of her controversial PhD is no more.

He was 82.

While confirming the prominent educationist’s death to the state-controlled Herald newspaper, Professor Mararike’s daughter, Vivian, said he passed on in the early hours of Thursday 16 June, 2022.

She could not reveal the cause of his death.

The late Mararike was also a presenter on the State-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) where he hosted the Pan African programme Zvavanhu. 

He co-hosted the programme together with the late Dr Vimbai Chivaura, Professor Sheunesu Mupepereki who is also late and Dr Tafataona Mahoso who is still alive.

On Zvavanhu, the quartet had a deep dive into concepts of Africanism.

The deceased was also a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe where he specialised in rural development, indigenous knowledge and the Sociology of Mass Communication in the Department of Sociology.


Largely perceived a pro-Zanu PF academic, Professor Mararike was embroiled in the fraudulent awarding of a doctorate degree to the former First Lady during the epoch of the late long-ruling Zimbabwe dictator, Robert Mugabe.

He supervised Grace Mugabe’s research and allegedly guided her in producing a 226-page doctoral thesis titled “The Changing Social Structure and Functions of the Family“.

Apart from academics, the late Mararike was a veteran member of the N’anga Medical Practitioners Council.