Zimbabwe arrest over Grace Mugabe's 'fake' PhD

Former first lady Grace Mugabe can be seen in this file photo. (Reuters)
Updated 16 February 2018
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Zimbabwe arrest over Grace Mugabe's 'fake' PhD

HARARE: Zimbabwean anti-corruption investigators said Friday they had arrested a university professor over the suspected fraudulent awarding of a doctorate to former first lady Grace Mugabe.
Levi Nyagura, the vice chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe, was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission following an investigation into the PhD.
It emerged that Grace was awarded the degree by the university in 2014 after just months of study.
Doctorates typically require several years of full-time research and writing.
"Nyagura has been arrested. We cannot have people who award fake degrees," Goodson Nguni, a ZACC commissioner told AFP over the telephone.
The professor will be charged with abuse of office, he said, refusing to say whether Grace also faces arrest.
Grace Mugabe's apparent desire to succeed her 93-year-old husband prompted the army takeover that saw Robert Mugabe ousted from power in November last year.
A copy of the 226-page doctoral thesis, titled "The Changing Social Structure and Functions of the Family" was only published last month following public calls for Grace to be stripped of her PhD.
Critics had argued that Grace, 52, had not actually studied or undertaken research to earn the doctorate.
She was personally capped by then-president Mugabe, who was also the chancellor of the university.


Trump picks Mick Mulvaney to be next chief of staff

In this file photo taken on January 20, 2018, Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, speaks during a briefing at the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC. (AFP)
Updated 15 December 2018
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Trump picks Mick Mulvaney to be next chief of staff

  • Christie’s departure is the latest twist in a search triggered when Trump’s preferred candidate to replace Kelly bowed out

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Friday picked budget director Mick Mulvaney to be his next chief of staff, ending a chaotic search that had been inching forward with the feel of an unfolding reality TV show.
Trump tweeted that Mulvaney “will be named Acting White House Chief of Staff, replacing General John Kelly, who has served our Country with distinction.”
“Mick has done an outstanding job while in the Administration,” Trump posted. “I look forward to working with him in this new capacity as we continue to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! John will be staying until the end of the year. He is a GREAT PATRIOT and I want to personally thank him for his service!“
Though deemed an “acting” chief of staff, Mulvaney’s term will be open-ended, according to a senior White House official speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss personnel matters. The position does not require confirmation.
Mulvaney, who will be Trump’s third chief of staff, will now take on his third job in the administration; he is the head of the Office of Management and had simultaneously led the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
A former Tea Party congressman, was among a faction on the hard right that bullied GOP leaders into a 2013 government shutdown confrontation by insisting on lacing a must-pass spending bill with provisions designed to cripple President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.
The appointment of the affable, fast-talking South Carolinian came just hours after another candidate for the post, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, took himself out of contention for the job. Christie cited family reasons in a statement saying that he was asking Trump to remove him from consideration. He had met with Trump on Thursday to discuss the job, according to a person familiar with the meeting who was not authorized to discuss it publicly.
Christie’s departure is the latest twist in a search triggered when Trump’s preferred candidate to replace Kelly bowed out.
Trump said Thursday that he was weighing five possibilities. Among the others he considered: his 2016 deputy campaign manager David Bossie, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Trump senior aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who had also been the subject of speculation, signaled his lack of interest. A person familiar with the matter said Kushner believed that he could serve the president best in his current role. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters. The names of acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and even White House communications director Bill Shine and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had also been floated.
The president’s hunt for a new chief reverted to square one last weekend when Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, took himself out of the running and decided that he would instead leave the White House. The announcement surprised even senior staffers who believed that Ayers’ ascension was a done deal.
Trump’s first chief of staff, Reince Priebus, served for six months before leaving in July 2017.