|Levi Martin Nyagura|
|Years active||April 1979 - March 2019|
|Known for||Former UZ Vice Chancellor|
Levi Martin Nyagura is a Zimbabwean academic who was appointed to be the Vice Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) in January 2003. He was once one of the two Pro-Vice-Chancellors of the institution from October 1998 up to December 2002. He retired from the position of Vice Chancellor in March 2019 following his arrest and trial for the conferring of a controversial PhD degree to former first lady Grace Mugabe.
In February 2018, Nyagura was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and charged with recommending "the conferring of a doctor of philosophy degree to Grace Marufu Mugabe without the approval of the University Council and Senate Committee."
- Bachelor of Science Special Honours in Mathematics (University of Rhodesia, present-day UZ)
- Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Physics (University of London)
- Graduate Certificate in Education (UZ)
- Masters of Science in Mathematics (UNISA, South Africa)
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Mathematics (Southern Illinois University, United States of America)
Nyagura began his career as a mathematics teacher and he then joined the Faculty of Education at UZ in 1979. In 1981, he became a member of the Faculty of Education's Committee of Inquiry on the Restructuring of the Faculty. During the same period, he was also appointed to be the chairman of a subcommittee within the Faculty of Education which focused on technology.
In 1982, Nyagura was then appointed to be Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Education after showing his capabilities to be able to lead. Since then, he began to head several departments aligned to curriculum development within the country.
From 1986 to 1980 he was the chairman of the Department of Curriculum Studies. In 1989 he became the chairman of the Department of Technical Education. From 1990 to 1995 he was the Director of the Human Resources Research Centre. He was appointed Vice Chancellor in 1996 and held this position up to 2002 when he was promoted to Vice Chancellor. He held that position until his retirement in March 2019.
In 2010, he was appointed to be the Chairman of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education Committee on Accreditation and Quality Assurance. In 2014, he was appointed to be the chairman of a ten-member board to oversee the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC). Nyagura has also published several articles on the education system in Zimbabwe.
- The Zimbabwe Institute of Management Public Services Manager of the Year (2005)
- The Zimbabwe Institute of Management Harare Regional Public Services Manager of the Year (2012)
- The Zimbabwe Institute of Management Public Services Manager of the Year (2012)
He is regarded as one of the many who was awarded unfettered authority by Mugabe. Thus he was referred to as an advocate of the Mugabe led government whose main aim at the institution was to quell opposition. In 2009, students who were at the institution petitioned the European Union Chairman to treat Nyagura in a manner akin to what it was doing to the so-called 'Mugabe's disciples'.
Grade Mugabe Fake PhD
In mid-February 2018 Nyagura was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC). He was charged with abuse of office for awarding a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree to the former first lady Grace Mugabe under the Faculty of Social Studies Department of Sociology in 2014. He was held in custody for one night before being granted bail the next day when he appeared before a Harare magistrate.
Grace Mugabe was awarded the degree when her husband, former president Robert Mugabe was the chancellor of all state universities. However, after Robert Mugabe’s ouster following the November 2017 coup, some UZ lecturers wrote to ZACC disowning the degree and saying that they had no knowledge of how she attained the degree. ZACC is reported to have demanded the “paper trail” showing Grace Mugabe’s registration papers and academic progression before arresting Nyagura. ZACC also reportedly investigated UZ lecturer Professor Claude Mararike who was one of Grace Mugabe’s supervisors.
In February 2018 Nyagura was suspended by the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Council on the same allegations of abuse of office.
In March 2018 after Nyagura's lawyer Advocate Lewis Uriri challenged his placement on remand, arguing that there was no reasonable suspicion warranting placement on remand, a magistrate ruled that Nyagura had a case to answer.
In March 2019, at a court appearance, Nyagura's lawyers argued that as Vice Chancellor, Nyagura was not responsible for awarding degrees and that this was the responsibility of the Chancellor. At the time Grace Mugabe was awarded the degree, her husband Robert Mugabe was the Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe.
Nyagura retired from the position of Vice Chancellor of the UZ on 31 March 2019.