NO, this is not a joke! Grace Mugabe, the wife of President Robert Mugabe and the First Lady of Zimbabwe has been awarded a PhD degree in Sociology just 2 months after she enrolled for the programme at the University of Zimbabwe where her husband is the Chancellor.
The shocking news of Grace Mugabe’s graduation and an award of a PhD took Zimbabweans and everyone else by surprise since she was only reported to have enrolled for the degree in July 2014. Dozens of Zimbabweans have vented their outrage on this recent “achievement” by the first lady.
Grace, who is now nicknamed ‘DisGrace’, was capped by her husband, President Robert Mugabe who also happened to be the chancellor of the university. It was stated that she had to “work hard” to acquire her PhD degree in Sociology.
According to the state-owned Herald Newspaper, her thesis topic was on the changing social structure and functions of the family which involved a study in children’s homes in Zimbabwe; a subject that she is very familiar with since she runs an orphanage in Mazowe located at the northern part of Harare.
In a bid to find out if 2 months is now the new academic calendar for the institution, Professor Greg Linnington, a University of Zimbabwe lecturer told local newspaper, the Standard, that a doctorate degree involved writing a thesis which normally takes several years to complete.
“A doctorate involves writing a thesis, after having a research question prepared, writing a proposal and then writing the thesis where one needs to research it, critique it then it can be marked, but that could take a few years,” he said.
“It, however, varies with individuals to complete. Some just do a thesis while others might do one with some coursework, but usually, it’s a minimum of three years.”
Grace Mugabe had her first degree in the Chinese language from the People’s University of China which was reportedly conferred in 2011
However, it was the recent award of a PhD from a reputable Zimbabwean University that has sparked a lot of outrage most especially among university students but unless your surname is Mugabe, don’t expect to get a doctorate degree in even a year.
President Robert Mugabe is one of the most educated African Presidents. He has quite a lot of honorary degrees from universities around the world although his refusal to let go of power led to some of them being stripped from him.
Robert Mugabe Academic Qualifications
- Bachelor of Arts (History and English) (BA) degree from the University of Fort Hare (1951)
- Bachelor of Administration (B.Admin) from University of South Africa (Unisa)
- Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) from the University of South Africa (Unisa)
- Bachelor of Science (BSc.) in Economics from University of London (External Programme)
- Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from University of London (External Programme)
- Master of Laws (LL.M) from University of London (External Programme)
- Master of Science (MSc.) in Economics from University of London (External Programme)
His law degrees were earned while he was in prison (between 1964 and 1975) and he pursued the MSc while leading Zimbabwe after independence.
His revoked honorary degrees as mentioned earlier, include;
- Honorary LLD degree from University of Edinburgh (1994), revoked in June 2007.
- Honorary LLD degree from University of Massachusetts (1986), revoked in June 2008.
- Honorary LLD degree from Michigan State University (1990), revoked on 12 September 2008.
The former President, however, continues to hold these honorary degrees:
- Honorary LLD degree from Ahmadu Bello University (Nigeria)
- Honorary LLD degree from Morehouse College (Atlanta, Georgia)
- Honorary LLD degree from University of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe)
- Honorary LLD degree from St. Augustine’s University (Tanzania)
- Honorary LLD degree from Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia)
- Honorary LLD degree from Solusi University (Zimbabwe)
- Honorary D.Litt. degree from Africa University (Zimbabwe)
- Honorary D.Civil Laws degree from University of Mauritius (Mauritius)
- Honorary D.Com. degree from For Hare University (South Africa)
- Honorary D.Tech. degree from National University of Science and Technology (Zimbabwe)
- Honorary D.Phil (African Heritage and Philosophy) degree from Great Zimbabwe University (Zimbabwe)
Grace Mugabe’s academic qualifications must have paled in contrast to that of her husbands and so the awarded PhD would certainly go a long way in balancing the scales.
What do you think of this? Is it a sham or could she really have done it all in under two months? Let us know on our Facebook page.