Patson Dzamara speaks on disputed doctorate degree

• Dr Patson Dzamara is a pro-democracy activist, and a campaigner against enforced disappearances. His brother Itai, of similar inclinations was abducted by suspected state agents. Article appears on Khuluma Afrika.
• Dr Patson Dzamara is a pro-democracy activist, and a campaigner against enforced disappearances. His brother Itai, of similar inclinations was abducted by suspected state agents. Article appears on Khuluma Afrika.

Zimbabwean activist and citizen resistance movement leader Patson Dzamara has for the first time spoken about his doctorate and the controversy surrounding it.

Dzamara’s educational qualifications became the subject of heated debate on social media some months ago, with several people, on instigation of an online news report, questioning Dzamara’s qualifications.

Speaking exclusively in an interview, whose transcript has now been availed to Khuluma, Dzamara explained that he was initially duped when he enrolled with a new ‘accredited’ University which was later shut down by the government.

“I enrolled and completed my PhD studies in leadership through Calvary University. The institution operated in Zimbabwe for a number of years until it was deemed unfit to operate.” he stated.

Calvary University was part of a number of institutions which operated under an illusion of registration in Zimbabwe, before being de-registered by Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE).

“ZIMCHE wishes to inform all stakeholders in higher education that the following institutions are not registered and, therefore, cannot offer university degrees in Zimbabwe – City Study Centre, in Harare, Calvary University, in Avondale, Harare, and Regent Business School, in Johannesburg, South Africa,” ZIMCHE said in a statement.

Calvary was located at Mass Media House along Selous Avenue in Harare before the government banned it.

The college then falsely claimed to be affiliated to Calvary University based in the UK, but ZIMCHE discovered this to be untrue. When it was ordered to close shop, it quickly transformed itself into Christ College and relocated to Number 66, West Road, Avondale, where it still has offices today.

Dzamara says he innocently enrolled, under the impression the University, which was registered at the time, was offering genuine accredited courses as it claimed.

“Innocently and genuinely, I enrolled. I was/am not a part of the government. Where was the government when the institution operated? I am just a victim of a poor, reactionary system.” he said.

Dzamara was not the only person to fall victim to Calvary’s antics. The unregistered Calvary university duped the government officials, among them cabinet ministers, top police and army officers, permanent secretaries and directors, into believing that it was registered.

Dzamara says he took it on his chin though, and decided to move on and better himself. He has enrolled for another PhD and is set to graduate.

“As soon as those issues surfaced, leading to the banning and disbanding of the institution, I quickly enrolled with an Indian institution, Christ University and I am happy that after a thorough and rigorous process, I recently submitted my final thesis for evaluation.” 

“I am hoping to do my final thesis defence and graduate with ‘another’ PhD this year or early next year.” he added.

Dzamara says he has dropped the title of Dr altogether, and will continue to go by his name as is, even after he graduates.

“I am a lifelong learner and I am actually pursuing other academic programs as I prepare myself for the leadership journey ahead of me. To me it is not about titles but results. I don’t wish to be remembered by a title but by my results. That is the reason why I no longer even use any title and I won’t. I am Patson Dzamara.”