Females rule the roost at ZOU graduation

President Mnangagwa caps Faith Makufa who graduated with a first class Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree in Human Resources and Labour Relations Management at the Zimbabwe Open University’s graduation ceremony in Hatcliffe, Harare, yesterday. She also won the Best Student award with a book prize, the overall Best Student and received The Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa Chancellor’s award.

President Mnangagwa, who is the Chancellor of all State Universities, yesterday capped 3 616 graduates at the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU)’s 21st graduation ceremony in Harare.

Of these, 2 316 were female and 1 300 males with 202  of them being physically capped by the President and Chancellor.

Overally, 64 percent of the graduates were female, further evidence that under the Second Republic women continue to be empowered and are making strides towards taking up at least 50 percent leadership positions as enshrined in Zimbabwe’s Constitution.

Among those who were capped by the President was Chief Zama Nthua Mkwananzi of Matabeleland South Province and Chief Nechombo (Langton Chikukwa) of Makaha in Mashonaland East Province. 

Chief Mkwananzi graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy in Peace and Governance, while Chief Nechombo graduated with a Master of Science in Peace, Leadership and Governance.

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Deputy Commissioner-General Elliot Mind Ngirandi graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration, while Assistant Commissioner and acting Officer Commanding Manicaland Province Arnold Makomo graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy in Peace and Governance.

Senator Tambudzani Bhudagi Mohadi also graduated with a Master of Social Science in Development Studies.

Pursuant to President Mnangagwa’s mantra of leaving no one and no place behind, Mr Pritchard Naison Zimondi, a detainee from Prisons and Correctional Services graduated with a Bachelor of Science Honours in Development Studies.

The Herald’s Assistant Editor Lovemore Chikova graduated with a Master of Social Sciences in Development Studies, while other Zimpapers staffers; Tedious Manyepo (Herald), Wilson Kakurira (ZTN) and Curtworth Masango (H-Metro) also graduated with bachelors’ degrees.

In an interview after being capped, Chikova said he was elated to have graduated, adding that he would continue contributing to the country’s development discourse.

“I think it is a programme very relevant to the work that I do for The Herald especially considering that development is becoming a major topic in both the developing and developed world, so I hope to contribute some new knowledge and new thinking in the area of development through my writings in The Herald and other publications within the Zimpapers group,” he said. 

Manyepo, who was accompanied by his mother and wife, expressed gratitude to both of them for being his support system throughout his journalism career at large. 

“These are the champions behind every success story that I have achieved during the course of my life and journalism career. I feel very happy to have graduated today,” he said.

Mr Passwell Chikara, one of the differently abled graduates said he was overjoyed to have achieved the feat, while also encouraging other differently abled people to pursue their dreams and never be deterred by their incapabilities.

“As you can see I am very happy and I would like to tell others to never look down upon themselves and not let anything stop them from pursuing their dreams because as you can see there is nothing I cannot do as evidenced by my graduating today,” he said. 

ZOU’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Emeritus Paul Henry Gundani said the institution was contributing to Zimbabwe’s industrialisation through micro-credentialing.

This, he said, had seen ZOU raising US$24 192 and $133 million to complement income from fees and grants.

“To supplement income from student fees and Government grants, ZOU has embarked on developing and offering micro credentials to raise third-stream income. 

“Micro credentialing has become one viable way of contributing towards industrialisation of our country. Through micro-credentialing courses in Education, Applied Social Sciences and Commerce, we managed to raise a total US$24 192 and $133 565 708 this year,” he said.

Prof Gundani expressed gratitude to President Mnangagwa for his continued support in the development of the institution of higher learning.

“I would like to end my speech by thanking you in anticipation of further PSIP funding to enable us to complete the construction of the Multi-Purpose Hall at ZOU Hatcliffe campus.

“Your Excellency and Chancellor, during your inaugural address on the 26th of August 2018, you made a covenant with the Zimbabwean nation when you made the following public declaration: “Let me assure you that tomorrow is brighter than yesterday. Let us now focus on the journey ahead, a journey of prosperity in the new Zimbabwe”. 

“As the ZOU council and management, we are up to the task and will do all in our power to build the university you entrusted to us. We take your mantra, ‘brick upon brick; stone upon stone’ very very seriously,” he said.


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