The Zimbabwean anti-corruption Investigators on Monday revealed that they are probing the circumstances surrounding the controversial awarding of a doctorate to former first lady Grace Mugabe.
She received a doctorate from the University of Zimbabwe in 2014, amid allegations she did not study for it, while the former president Robert Mugabe was chancellor of the university.
Critics argued at the time that Grace, 52, had not actually studied or undertaken research to earn the doctorate and that she had been handed her diploma just months after enrolling. PhDs typically require several years of full-time research and writing.
Her dissertation has never been made public, according to local media, breaking with the established policy of most Zimbabwean public universities to publish doctoral students’ theses.
The state-run Herald newspaper reported in 2014 that Grace’s dissertation was on the theme of “changing social structure (and) the functions of the family” and that she undertook research on Zimbabwean children’s homes.
Grace was personally capped by her husband Mugabe, who was also the chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe, and praised by other government officials who defended the controversial degree award.
“We confirm there is such a report and there is such a probe,” said Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission spokeswoman Phyllis Chikundura who declined to provide further details.
Grace whose husband resigned last November under pressure from the military and ruling party, was routinely accused of extravagant spending on luxury clothes and international travel, and of involvement in corrupt land deals.