ZIMBABWE – PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is reportedly in sixes and sevens over who to appoint as Vice–Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) amid reports that Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo are eyeing the post which falls vacant when the contract of the incumbent, Professor Levi Nyagura, expires end of this year.
Sources at the UZ said Mugabe, who is chancellor of all State universities, is reportedly not keen to extend Nyagura’s term for reasons to do with the unprecedented deterioration of the institution of higher learning, NewsDay reported.
Sources at the UZ said Mutambara, whose political career and life in government could be heading towards a cliff as his political fate now hinges on the courts’ next verdict, is banking his future on leading the university where he made a name as a student activist.
The Deputy Prime Minister is said to have anchored his campaign for the UZ vice-chancellorship on his ambitious $70 million UZ fund-raising project which he launched early this year.
Mutambara’s political career hangs in the balance after two High Court orders ruled that Welshman Ncube is the bona fide leader of the MDC. The robotics professor is contesting the ruling in the Supreme Court.
Although both Moyo and Mutambara could not be reached for comment yesterday, sources said the duo had started jostling for the post with Moyo said to have been observed supervising PHD Political Science students at the UZ in recent weeks.
“Mugabe is considering Mutambara among a host of names, but he is worried that coming from an opposition party, he might not be politically correct,” the source said.
Other names thrown into the fray include Professor Jameson Kurasha, husband of Primrose Kurasha, the Zimbabwe Open University vice-chancellor, and Professor Ngwabi Bhebhe, vice-chancellor of Midlands State University.
“Mugabe is also considering Kurasha and Bhebhe and a certain Zimbabwean in South Africa who he believes will transform the university,” the source said.
Officials at the UZ’s communication department yesterday declined to comment over the matter, saying they were busy with preparations for the graduation ceremony. NewsDay