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Mnangagwa caps record 8 000 at MSU

by Staff reporter
25 Nov 2023 at 07:42hrs | Views
President Mnangagwa caps musician Sandra Ndebele who graduated with a first class Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Music Business, Musicology and Technology at Midlands State University yesterday. Looking on are Midlands State University Vice Chancellor Professor Victor Ngonidzashe Muzvidziwa (left) and Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Prof Amon Murwira

Freedom Mupanedemo Midlands Bureau

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday capped a record 8 332 graduands at the Midlands State University's 24th graduation ceremony held at the main campus in Gweru.

Of the graduates, 3 825 were male while 4 507 were female.

Ten graduated with Doctor of Philosophy degrees while four graduated with Masters of Philosophy degrees.

Three graduates also received Dr ED Mnangagwa awards for outstanding innovations.

The proceedings started with an academic procession followed by the national anthem.

There was also a moment of silence in honour of students and university staff who passed away during the course of the year, including the university's founding Vice Chancellor, Professor Ngwabi Bhebe, who died last week.

Prof Bhebe was conferred with National Hero status by President Mnangangwa and will be buried at the National Heroes Acre in Harare today.

In his speech, Midlands State University Vice Chancellor, Professor Victor Muzvidziwa, commended President Mnangagwa for recognising the immense role played by the late founding Vice Chancellor of MSU, Prof Bhebe, in establishing the institution and for conferring him with the highest honour in the land.

He said the late Prof Bhebe, President Mnangagwa, the late Vice President Simon Muzenda and the late former Cabinet Minister Richard Hove were instrumental in the establishment and development of MSU.

"Your Excellency, we congregate today with a heavy sense of  loss following the passing of our beloved founding Vice Chancellor, Professor Emeritus Ngwabi Mulunge Bhebe, who had a larger than life presence.

"It is a great burden to bear the loss of such an accomplished and pre-eminent scholar, yet it is also an honour to bear witness to his great work in establishing MSU.

"He built this institution on the shoulders of three luminaries of our beloved country, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Dr ED Mnangagwa, the late Vice President of Zimbabwe, Dr Simon Muzenda and the late Richard Hove.

"The only surviving member of these great founders of MSU is our President and Chancellor. I wish to thank you and the Government for conferring National Hero status on our beloved late Professor and colleague," said Prof Muzvidziwa.

He said the hero status conferred on Prof Bhebe was a first for an academic luminary and one of the highest to be conferred on an individual at MSU.

"Your Excellency and Chancellor, this recognition is by far the biggest in the history of MSU. It bears testimony to Professor Emeritus Bhebe's great sacrifice and contribution in founding and shaping this institution to be what it is today. May his legacy live forever".

Turning to the graduation ceremony, Prof Muzvidziwa said the record number of graduates was as a result of the institution's multi-campus strategy, a first for any university in Zimbabwe.

He said the idea of a multi-campus approach was also the brainchild of President Mnangagwa in line with his vision of leaving no one and no place behind, even in academic emancipation.

"Your Excellency and Chancellor, you may need to know that this exceptionally high number of graduates is the outcome of our celebrated multi-campus strategy.

"These graduates who converged here today are products of the Harare campus, Zvishavane campus, Bulawayo Learning Centre and the Gweru main campus.

"MSU has presence in Gweru, Harare, Zvishavane, Bulawayo and soon, Kwekwe," said Prof Muzvidziwa.

He said the university would continue to produce graduates to fit into the socio economic development agenda through innovation and technology.

"Your Excellency and Chancellor, the university's research and innovation drive is gaining momentum measured by the level of research activities and innovation endeavours within the university and community at large," Prof Muzvidziwa said.

The innovation and incubation hubs, he said, were proving to be a game-changer with the commercialisation of goods and services produced by the university a hit on the market.

"The area cutting edge innovations that have promising impact on commercialisation are the wireless road traffic lights project meant to avail and maintain traffic lights for our roads locally.

"The MSU incubation hub has also prototyped a modified plant for the manufacturing of sodium hypochlorite and chlorine. The innovation is a home-grown solution for water purification," Prof Muzvidziwa said.

He said the university had also made strides in building global linkages that had continued to put the institution on the global map.

"The university has made positive strides towards nurturing global linkages with universities in the African region notably in Cote d'lvoire, Botswana and Malawi.

"Our hands and minds are working in collaboration with researchers in India while some universities in Belarus, Russia, the United States among others, are partnering MSU," said Prof Muzvidziwa.

He said with Government assistance, the university managed to introduce a new Faculty of Building and Design.

"Kindly allow me Your Excellency and Chancellor, to express our heartfelt gratitude to the government for the assistance we continue to receive towards the expansion of our academic portfolio.

"I am delighted to announce the establishment of the 10th faculty in the university, the Faculty of Building Environment, Art and Design this academic year."

Source - The Herald