Suspended Nyagura still reporting for duty

HARARE - Suspended University of Zimbabwe (UZ) vice chancellor Levi Nyagura is still reporting for duty despite having been sent on paid leave pending the outcome of his court case.

This emerged in an official communication from Thembinkosi Magwaliba, on behalf of other UZ Council members, to the council chairperson Buzawani Mothobi, in which the seasoned lawyer highlighted the recommendations made by the council to the effect that Nyagura was to be replaced by pro-vice chancellor Pedzisai Mashiri in the interim pending the outcome of the investigations.

Nyagura is being accused of illegally facilitating the issuance of a PhD to former first lady Grace Mugabe.

He was suspended late last month following his arrest on criminal abuse of office charges.

“I have learnt over the past week that ... Nyagura has been attending to his normal duties. He has not been issued with a letter placing him on indefinite leave as resolved by Council. Consequently, the situation at the university has been highly tense and does not conduce for the discharge of the normal functions of the university by all concerned. This is because some of the subordinates to ... Nyagura are witnesses in the on-going criminal case and have to report to him as part of the normal business duties at the university,” Magwaliba said in a letter dated March 6, 2018.

Magwaliba stressed that Nyagura had been placed on leave to ensure the smooth flow of his court case.

“Further, council resolved that it could not institute its own investigations into the circumstances surrounding the grant of a doctorate to ...Grace ... since that could have appeared to be an interference with the current ongoing court processes involving ... Nyagura. Accordingly, at the conclusion of court processes which are presently pending in which ... Nyagura is an accused person, council would take a position as to whether to institutes its own inquiry,” he said.

He added: “In the circumstances therefore, speaking for myself and other council members I have had an opportunity to discuss the issue with, I inquire from you, the chairman of the University Council as to the progress that has been made in implementing the resolution of the University Council placing the Vice Chancellor on paid leave.

“As indicated in the council meeting, it is not the prerogative of the minister of Higher and Tertiary Education to approve the decision of council in that regard. He must be informed and, this is what the council recommended to you. I once again, regrettably point out that I will not take responsibility legally or otherwise in respect of the failure to implement the resolution of the council.” 

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