Fresh questions over 'Gucci Grace's' qualifications

There are claims that Zimbabwe's first lady actually studied for a Master's.

FILE: Robert and Grace Mugabe at the 2014 Presidential Inauguration, Union Buildings, Pretoria, Saturday 24 May, 2014. Picture: GCIS.

ZIMBABWE - Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe's sudden PhD is still a big talking point and now there are claims that she actually studied for a Master's.

Reuters is quoting a source from the University of Zimbabwe, saying that her tutor considered her research to be groundbreaking so she was upgraded to a PhD.

Critics say the degree is meant to bolster the first lady's profile as she embarks on a political career within the ruling party.

The Zimbabwe Independent is reporting that senior lecturers and professors at the University of Zimbabwe want the university's council to give some explanation for Mugabe's Doctorate.

She was awarded a Doctorate in Sociology for a thesis that focused on orphans and orphanages but her graduation ceremony came just two months after it was first reported she'd enrolled for the degree.

Now, Reuters is quoting a university source saying that the first lady enrolled for a Master's in 2011.

Her tutor reportedly considered her research to have contributed enormously to the body of knowledge so it was upgraded to a doctorate.

Mugabe's start date was never confirmed by the Presidency and since her first degree in Chinese language from the People's University of China was reportedly conferred in 2011, it is technically possible that she began her doctoral studies then.

But that's not what the majority of Zimbabweans believe and there's been a degree of outrage on social media.