GOVERNMENT has reportedly approved plans to set up a $15 million science university in Chiredzi, Lowveld region.
The institution, to be known as Lowveld University, is being fronted by a local non-governmental organisation, Conservatory Trust.
By Garikai Mafirakureva
Conservatory Trust managing director Absolom Chikoto confirmed the development, saying the project would be developed on a build, operate and transfer arrangement.
He said the university would start with seven faculties; namely medicine, humanities and education, culture and heritage, science, engineering and technology, natural resources and ecological sciences as well as mathematics.
Chikoto said they had already been offered land by the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement near South Eastern College in Chiredzi.
“We spent some months mobilising resources and putting together the required paperwork. We are through with the university charter and we were given land by the Ministry of Lands and all the planning for the project is now complete,” he said.
“We will have seven faculties and in future we will expand to Mwenezi and Beitbridge. We have put in place an executive comprising of experienced people who will run the affairs of the university. Construction work will start early next month,” Chikoto said.
Board secretary Evangelitsta Svosve told stakeholders at a recent meeting in the Lowveld that the university’s mandate was in conformity with government’s economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset).
“We are driven by challenges of scarcity of modern resources in arid and semi-arid areas among needy backgrounds in Zimbabwe as communities are exposed to an unsupportive environment,” she said.
“It is going to be a universal facilitator of modern advancement and dissemination of knowledge and skills performances to influence and uplift the standard and quality of sustainability initiatives in Zimbabwe.
“The university is going to be one of the region’s major success stories in its proposed mandate of Wildlife, Fish, Livestock, Environment, Sugarcane Agriculture along with innovative irrigation and practical entrepreneurial training.”
The university is expected to have a staff complement of 2 000, comprising of 500 permanent employees and supporting staff of 1 500.