President Emmerson Mnangagwa was yesterday conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Law degree and installed as Chancellor of Midlands State University.
The President proceeded to cap over 6 612 students who graduated in various disciplines.
His installation conformed to the Midlands State University Act (Chapter 25:21) which states that, “7(1) The President of Zimbabwe shall be Chancellor of the University. (2) The Chancellor shall be the head of the University.
“(3) The Chancellor shall have the right — (a) to preside over any assembly or meeting held by or under the authority of the University; and (b) upon the recommendation of the Council and the Senate, to confer degrees, diplomas, certificates and other awards and distinctions of the university and to withdraw or restore such awards.”
President Mnangagwa told the gathering that higher learning institutions should contribute to economic development through innovative research.
The President said, “Government equally recognises the importance of agriculture as a key driver for fostering economic revival and development and it is in this respect that I see the enhanced implementation of Command Agriculture as key to the country’s development.
“Institutions of higher education have a responsibility to play in the quest for more effective value-addition and beneficiation. I, therefore, call upon the private sector to partner Government and other institutions of higher education in supporting research and development in agriculture, mining and tourism, among other sectors, as we seek to turn around the fortunes of our country.”
President Mnangagwa said education was “a fundamental human right that should foster intellectual and moral growth for all citizens irrespective of their social cultural and ethnic backgrounds”.
“The proliferation of higher and tertiary institutions in the country, therefore, is an acknowledgement by Government of the critical importance of education in the achievement of multi-faceted socio-economic development of the country.
“To that end, Government continues to promote research and development, especially in universities and other institutions of higher learning as an integral component for achieving the country’s development trajectory. In this regard, universities should always seek to provide solutions and respond to the needs of society, industry and other socio-economic sectors.”
He emphasised that Government would invest in higher and tertiary education, and that his administration would “not abandon our future leaders simply because we are confronted with transient economic challenges”.
MSU Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Victor Muzvidziwa said, “All our achievements and future plans as the leading institution of higher learning are informed by our dynamic strategic planning which is aimed at contributing to the industrialisation and modernisation of our national economy.
“Our strategic plan is development-oriented and focuses on key issues such as research and innovation, industrialisation and modernisation and poverty alleviation.
“Our strategic plan is informed by the Zim-Asset philosophy, as well as the Stem thrust with its need for equipment acquisition and other initiatives.”
Among the graduands were The Herald News Editor Takunda Maodza, H-Metro News Editor Tatenda Chipungudzanye, The Chronicle Deputy News Editor Temba Dube, Business Weekly Reporter Africa Moyo, Star FM marketing manager (events) Leah Mujaji, The Chronicle Reporter Leonard Ncube, The Herald Sub-Editor James Makoma and The Chronicle Reporter Auxillia Katongomara.
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