The Sunday Mail
The Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) has been commended for funding innovation hubs that have been established at several universities across the country.
Speaking after touring exhibition stands at Zanu-PF’s 18th National People’s Conference, which ended yesterday at Goromonzi High School, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the parastatal’s focus on funding innovation and research was the right way to go.
The innovation hubs were established to enhance research and support the country’s modernisation and industrialisation drive.
“We are so happy the thrust of the exhibitions is agricultural and also in the area of innovations,” he said.
“We are impressed by the current thrust of Zimdef, which is supporting most of the innovation hubs at universities. This is now changed from the past history of Zimdef, where funds were used to buy bicycles. Now the funds are being used to fund proper innovations and inventions at universities.”
His remarks follow the alleged abuse of Zimdef funds by fugitive former Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo after he diverted over US$270 000 to buy bicycles for traditional leaders in Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North.
The President also commended seed companies for venturing into manufacturing of small grains seed.
“Generally, you can also see the thrust by seed companies, they have normal seed varieties, but traditional seed varieties are now being exhibited.
“In the past we were only exposed to maize, soya(bean) and wheat, but now you can also see rukweza (finger millet) mhunga (sorghum), mapfunde, so we are so grateful,” President Mnangagwa added.
He also expressed satisfaction with operations of Silo Foods Industries, a subsidiary of GMB tasked with providing cheap basic commodities to vulnerable households, especially in rural areas.
“We are tending to the most disadvantaged of the communities and we have seen what the Silo shops are doing, where poor families are being provided for at very reasonable prices.”
“It now has 84 shops countrywide available at GMB depots and other satellite shops
“The company’s product range include mealie-meal, rice and sugar beans, salt, samp, bran, peanut butter, kapenta and flour, among others.”