Grace Mugabe has the record for the fastest earned PhD in world history. The PhD which had many academics crying foul was attained when her husband was still the Chancellor of all State Universities. The events of November 15 2017, has not only brought about a sense of hope for the many Zimbabweans, but also those academics who were cowered into submission and forced by the now deposed Mugabe to confer the doctorate on Grace Mugabe, have now come out of hiding and a baying for the PhD to be revoked, it is not only the faculty but the students of the oldest institution of higher learning in Zimbabwe have also demanded that the degree be revoked.
Under growing pressure from various sectors, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe Prof. Levi Nyagura has today 25 Jan. 18 published the thesis which can be found here. Many see this move as Nyagura trying to stem his dismissal from the UZ and possibly criminal charges being levelled against him, because it is also under his watch that the bogus degree was awarded. Having attained most of my education in Zimbabwe I know how hard it is to even get a basic Ordinary Level Certificate. Not even a Grade Seven qualification can be attained in 2 months, but Grace Mugabe in cohorts with her husband and Levi Nyagura defied all protocol, and before many could even say Asante Sana, Grace Mugabe was now a PhD holder.
Due process however requires of one to carry out research work and publish the findings in a thesis. Like any academic paper, plagiarism is a grave offense, and no self-respecting academic institution tolerates it. Unless of course its Grace Mugabe who commits this despicable offense. I would therefore want to draw your attention to the picture below. I extracted the document metadata which clearly show that the thesis was typed or created on a computer belonging to one I Kusekwa, on 18 December 2017, it was then further modified on 18 January 2018.
To further aggravate the unrelenting insult on our intelligence, my team and I ran the thesis against a plagiarism checker. The results are shocking if not hilarious, the similarity index is 23%, what this means is that, 10189 words/phrases from a total word count of 44302 can be found in other sources. This is a worrying figure if you consider that a doctoral thesis should be principally unique and a student at that level must be able to summarise and synthesize information such that, the end product is original. It is with this in mind that most scholars agree that a doctoral thesis should not score more than 10% on the similarity index, how Grace Mugabe and her supervisor, one Dr Claude Mararike managed to double that index and not have the thesis rejected is scandalously wicked if not criminal!
The following is from Chapter 4.6.1 Catholic Church (page 99) of the appalling thesis
Marriage is a divine institution that can never be broken, even if the husband or wife legally divorce in the civil courts; as long as they are both alive. The Church considers them bound together by God. Holy Matrimony is another name for sacramental marriage. Marriage is intended to be a faithful, exclusive, lifelong union of a man and a woman, committing themselves completely to each other. A Catholic husband and wife strive to sanctify each other, bring children into the world, and educate them in the Catholic way of life. Man and woman, although created differently from each other, complement each other. This complementarity draws them together in a mutually loving union.
That Is from a paper that was written on 05-Jun-2016! How then is it possible that a paper that was supposedly written in 2014 quotes a paper that was written 2 years later? It is critical to understand that there is no way that the Edge Hill University student could have plagiarised from Grace Mugabe because, Grace’s thesis was made available online in January of 2018.
If we draw our attention to Chapter 3.3 The Naturalistic Paradigm (page 60)
……characterized by a specific ontology, that is explanations of what exists, and a specific epistemology; that is explanations of the nature of knowledge and how it is obtained (Patton, 1987). The type of paradigm used has an important bearing on the design and methodology of any research undertaking. For example, some paradigms do not “sit” comfortably within the same research design. Positivism and naturalism are some of the paradigms used in social science research. However, there exist ontological and epistemological differences between these two paradigms. In ontology, positivism sees “a single tangible reality out there fragementable into independent variables and processes, any of which could be studied independent of the others”
The following paragraph was literally copied word for word from the source, the source was submitted to the University of Zimbabwe on 2013-07-05 as a student paper. Now two things are critical to understand 1) Patton was not a UZ student that we know because of the date of availability at the University of Zimbabwe, also as stated previously you cannot quote a fellow student as they are not a peer reviewed source. Instead the document was authored by someone who acknowledged Patton. 2) When you quote and acknowledge, the actual acknowledgement will be your own wording e.g. (John Doe 2004) will be my own words when I acknowledge John Doe’s work, however this was not the case with the above. The anti-plagiarism algorithm we used should not have picked that up because those exact words are not in John Doe’s document, but rather they are words I summarised from John Doe’s paper. What that means then is that the material was not authored by Grace Mugabe but instead she or her proxy plagiarised that part including the acknowledgement! In other words, she is the class copycat who also duplicates the name of a friend on her own submissions!
The examples are many and glaring, I have to stop least I run into thousands of pages, and I wasn’t even trying to poke holes into this sham of a thesis. The only honourable thing is for the degree to be revoked because she never worked for it anyway!