By Crime and Courts Reporter
A third witness Doctor Watch Ruparanganda in the trial of suspended University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Vice Chancellor Levi Nyagura has told the court that the former first lady Grace Ntombizodwa Mugabe was a ghost student and appeared from nowhere.
Ruparanganda who was chairman of the department of Sociology and senior lecturer during that period stated that he doesn’t know Grace and neither does she also know him.
“Some of the duties of my board was to ensure that the enrolment of the students is in accordance with the regulations,” Ruparanganda told the court.
“I don’t even know Grace Mugabe and even if she was here, she wouldn’t have known me, she just appeared from nowhere, and it was through grapevine that I heard that she was graduating with a PHD degree.”
Dr Ruparangada further stated that Mugabe was a ghost student as the Board did not have any knowledge of her and the topic she was researching.
“As the Board, we were supposed to have known her qualifications to avoid enrolling standard six students.”
“Mugabe was supposed to have seen me as the chairman like what other candidates like Thokozani Khupe did.”
Dr Ruparangada said Professor Nyagura knew very well that for one to supervise a PHD candidate, he or she had to have the qualifications but he chose to select an unqualified friend of his to supervise the ghost student.
In 2014 the former first lady graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy degree and the title of her thesis is: “The Changing Social Structure of the Family: The Case of Children’s Homes in Zimbabwe”.
It was only in July of the same year that it was reported she had enrolled at the UZ raising questions as to the quick timeframe she completed it.
Her only publicly known qualification that Grace possesses was a first degree in Chinese language that she completed in 2011 after four years of distance learning with the People’s University of China.
Other media reports said, in the mid-2000s, Grace was forced to abandon her Bachelor of Arts degree in English by the University of London due to a string of poor results.
After enrolling through correspondence in 1996, she is reported to have passed only two subjects in eight years, after which she was deregistered.