Chiyangwa's degree dubious

HARARE - Flamboyant businessman Philip Chiyangwa’s penchant for controversy has reached new levels after his acquisition of a questionable degree from an “online university in the Philippines.”

While Chiyangwa has defended his honorary doctorate on grounds that it was from an institution affiliated to the United Nations (UN) and Commonwealth, investigations by the Daily News have established that — contrary to recent media claims that his Linus University (Linus) business-excellence academic gravitas was recognised in the Dominican Republic — the little-known college is based in the Philippines.

“Do you think the UN and the Commonwealth are stupid to endorse the Linus? There are many people in this country with degrees from the same institution,” said the swaggering Chiyangwa.

 “You think the Sunday Mail would write like what they did without confirming the existence and authenticity of the university.

“You are looking for controversy because that is what you like. Go ahead and write the wrong things then I can sue you. You are not the police to question me like that?” Chiyangwa quipped.

Ironically, his business fortunes seem to be tumbling at the same time he is receiving accolades for its acumen with his headline business Zeco Limited reportedly in distress.

A securities exchange watcher Ranga Makwata said he had not paid attention to Zeco.

 “There is nothing there to warrant a look by an investor. I am not sure it has traded anything with a value of more than $10 000 in the past two years. It has largely been inactive,” Makwata said.

 Despite his well-documented wealth flaunting antics and claim to be a clean businessman, Chiyangwa reportedly gave his workers shoes as terminal benefits following liquidation of one of his companies in the late 90s.

His much-vaunted $300 million golf estate project which was set for Borrowdale Brooke flopped.

 An investigation by the Daily News showed St Linus University is registered in the Philippines and its website lists small countries among them a Republic of Penza.

 “St Linus University (SLU) is a duly registered company in — Dominica — a United Nations member state.

 SLU is licenced to operate as a higher education institution online under the International Business Company (IBC) Act 1996 of Dominica.  SLU’s apostilled degree is recognised as a legal document by all member countries of the 5 October 1961 Hague Legalisation Convention.

“SLU is accredited by the World Information Distributed University (WIDU). The accreditation of SLU is internationally recognised by the ministries of Education in Mongolia, Tatarstan Republic, Penza, and Tajikistan.”

Linus University’s Zimbabwean agent Pythias Chovava said the institution was legitimate.

“I am a graduate of the same institution with a Phd and I was there last April with three Zimbabwean students who were graduating. So popular is the institution that when I was there, security was provided by the Philippino army.

“Registration with the Hague Convention was to internationalise the transnational arm of the college so that its certificates are accepted worldwide. I am a pastor and would not be involved in anything dubious,” Chovava told the Daily News.

The Hague Legalisation Convention, also known as the Apostille treaty, is an international treaty drafted by the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

It specifies the modalities through which a document issued in one of the signatory countries can be certified for legal purposes in all the other signatory states.

Chiyangwa, who claims to be related to President Robert Mugabe is not new to controversy.

In December 2009, he was arrested for espionage and at one time feared dead under torture by state security agents after failing to appear in court as had been expected.

He was subsequently acquitted of all charges.

Linus University’s telephone number (0016474772002) was giving a message of “out of service”, while emailed application to enrol had not received a response by the time of going to print. The University’s website is www.saintlinusuniversity.edu.tc.

Chiyangwa gave the following number to the Daily News 436-1846/455-1622 but did not provide the country code.

The “university’’ website also claims to have collaborating colleges in Africa but these were not readily available as the provided link responded with a “coming soon”.

Chiyangwa has resorted to pre-fixing his name with (Dr) and its citation the Linus University said: “Whereas in recognition of the invaluable and selfless contributions of the Honoree Philip Chiyangwa in the field of his applied expertise, the university does hereby confer the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Business Leadership (Honoris Causa) with all the rights, privileges and honours thereunto appertaining here and elsewhere.”

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Comments (2)

The accreditation of SLU is internationally recognised by the ministries of Education in Mongolia, Tatarstan Republic, Penza, and Tajikistan. LOL, what a joke! Linus University’s Zimbabwean agent Pythias Chovava said the institution was legitimate because "security was provided by the Philippino army." LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "I am a pastor and would not be involved in anything dubious" LOL!!!! Linus University’s telephone number (0016474772002) was giving a message of “out of service”, while emailed application to enrol had not received a response by the time of going to print. Chiyangwa gave the following number to the Daily News 436-1846/455-1622 but did not provide the country code. The “university’’ website also claims to have collaborating colleges in Africa but these were not readily available as the provided link responded with a “coming soon”. LOLLOLOLOLOLLLOOOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!! “Whereas in recognition of the invaluable and selfless contributions of the Honoree Philip Chiyangwa in the field of his applied expertise.." THIS IS TOO MUCH, LOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!

ScottM - 17 January 2013

St Linus University is a well known "DIPLOMA MILL " here in the United States and the whole civilized world. Please Zimbos do not be deceived. All their Degrees are not recognized anywhere it is "NOT" an Accredited Institution.

Godfrey Sibanda - 2 April 2014

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