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'Mnangagwa committed to uplift the underprivileged'

by Staff reporter
22 Nov 2021 at 05:52hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has said his personal background of lack in colonial Rhodesia instilled in him a sense of benovelence towards the underprivileged in society. The President said this last night at the ED-UNZA (University of Zambia) Scholarship Fundraising Dinner at State House in Harare.

At the glamorous occasion, the President's scarf was bid for US $25 000, while his necktie fetched US$10 000. More than US$700 000 and at least $16 million was raised through bids and pledges from individuals and representatives of the business community, who graced the occasion.

The President said when he left prison, he was in his second year of a law degree, which he pursued to completion at the University of Zambia between 1973 and 1975.

"When I left prison, I was now doing my second year; again I was assisted, and I did complete my first law degree. So, in terms of education, some people think I really went to school. In prison, we used toilet papers to write notes on," said the President.

"Because we were living in single cells, alone, you do not know how to pronounce words; you guess. But I have improved now. So, it is this, my background which pushes me to assist others.

"At a personal level, I am committed and determined to ensure that underprivileged members of our great motherland, Zimbabwe as well as from Zambia, have equitable access to opportunities that improve their overall wellbeing, including professional development."

He paid tribute to the Government and people of Zambia for their contribution to Zimbabwe's liberation struggle.

"This scholarship, therefore, serves to strengthen and deepen the longstanding, fraternal and historical relationship between Zimbabwe and Zambia," he said.

Beneficiaries of the ED-UNZA Scholarship, are drawn from the country's 10 provinces. A total of 15 students are pursuing fully funded undergraduate studies at the University of Zambia and selected universities in Zimbabwe, 10 of them being Zimbabweans.

The scholarship also provides beneficiaries with tuition fees, accommodation, laptops, tablets, clothing, medical insurance, among other necessities.

Zimbabwean students under the scholarship are currently studying law, medicine and other disciplines in the sciences at the University of Zambia. Those from Zambia are pursuing studies in agricultural engineering, bio-technology, food sciences and technology as well as freshwater and fishery sciences.

Commending the Scholarship Trust, chaired by Mr Hebert Nkala, for identifying deserving students "in the spirit of leaving no one and no place behind", the President expressed satisfaction that the inaugural group at UNZA and Chinhoyi University of Technology have settled and blended into the new environment.

The President thanked FBC Holdings and FMC for being the first sponsors to the Scholarship Fund, and called on public and private players to come aboard in support of the worthy cause.

Speaking at the ED-UNZA Scholarship, student liaison officer, Mrs Farai Mlotshwa, said University of Zambia holds a special place in the President's heart. Hence, he saw it fit to offer a full scholarship to 10 academically gifted, but underprivileged Zimbabweans to study either law, or a science related programme at the university.

She added that the students being assisted have already overcome many socio-economic challenges. Hence, this scholarship means hope and a chance for not only improving their lives, but also those of their parents, or siblings around them.

Mrs Mlotshwa said the learners are carrying hopes for their families and communities.

Source - The Herald