The United Kingdom has increased Chevening Scholarship awards to Zimbabwe fivefold, from four to 20 for the year 2015/16 study period, British ambassador to Zimbabwe Catriona Laing said.

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BY CHARLES LAITON

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LaingLaing described the increase of the number of students being sent to her country as part of confidence building measures between Zimbabwe and the UK.

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Speaking during a send-off reception at her residence in Harare on Tuesday night, Laing said the scholarship programme was a demonstration of UK’s commitment to Zimbabwe’s human resource and to its future.

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“In offering this prestigious scholarship, the UK is playing a role in ensuring that Zimbabweans have the skills and knowledge to contribute to their country’s development,” she said.

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According to Laing, the Chevening Scholarships are awarded to individuals with strong academic background who also demonstrate leadership potential.

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The scholarship offers financial support to study for a taught Master’s degree at any UK university and the opportunity to become part of an influential global network of 44 000 alumni.

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“The Chevening Scholars are expected to return to Zimbabwe on completion of their qualifications to make a meaningful contribution to developing the country and become part of the global Chevening Alumni,” Laing said.

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The British ambassador encouraged the students to return home after studying and she took the opportunity to award certificates to former Chevening scholars, Masimba Nyamanhindi and Rumbidzayi Zengeya, for coming back to Zimbabwe.

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“The success of the Chevening scholarship in Zimbabwe is evident with former scholars now in places of influence including Presidential spokesperson George Charamba, ICT minister Supa Mandiwanzira, Barclays Zimbabwe chief executive officer George Guvamatanga, human rights lawyer Chris Mhike and Gallery of Zimbabwe chief curator Raphael Chikukwa,” Laing said.

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Among this year’s recipients are photojournalist Angela Jimu, journalist Sibusisiwe Ndlovu and Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition spokesperson Mfundo Mlilo.

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