Outrage over $1bn Mugabe varsity

HARARE - Opposition parties have slammed government’s plans to construct a $1 billion state-of-the-art university named after President Robert Mugabe.

The parties argued that the learning facility — to be owned by the Robert Mugabe Foundation (RMF) — is a waste and misuse of taxpayer’s money at the First Family’s benefit.

“The MDC is deeply appalled by the Zanu PF regime’s decision to fund the Robert Mugabe University. Whilst the MDC keenly advocates for the development and establishment of educational institutions, we are convinced that government funds should always be used in a transparent and responsible manner that benefits the majority of the people instead of funding personal business ventures of private individuals,” the Morgan Tsvangirai-led party’s spokesperson, Obert Gutu, said.

“We have more than a dozen State universities in Zimbabwe, all of which are severely under-funded,” he said, questioning “what is the logic of establishing a new State-funded Robert Mugabe University instead of capacitating the existing State universities?”

Gutu said “someone, somewhere, is just trying to curry favour with Mugabe by massaging his personal ego. This is Zanu PF patronage politics gone crazy”.

Last week, Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo revealed that influential First Lady Grace Mugabe had pressured government to build the university.

“We have been pushed positively; the real inspiration and mover pulling together the various pieces that need to be in place has been the...Grace Mugabe because this is the initiative of the RMF. The university will be established under the auspices of the foundation, which is the responsible authority of the university,” Moyo told the media.

Mugabe and Grace are the founding trustees of the RMF. However, People’s Democratic Party spokesperson Jacob Mafume accused Moyo of trying to seek favours from the first family.

“It is rank madness. This is a way by...Moyo to counter Command Agriculture by introducing command learning and institutions. It is meant to be a way of getting money from the fiscus and he is trying to curry favour with the first family.                       

He said the system has created “a society where all sorts of madness are justified as long as it is done in the name of the Mugabes”.

The Welshman Ncube-led MDC spokesperson, Kurauone Chihwayi, alleged that the project was a way of trying to loot State resources.

“This is strategic looting by the Mugabe family. They are exerting so much pressure on the national purse by diverting resources towards the construction of Robert Mugabe’s backyard university. Children are walking 10km to primary school in farming areas, kidney and cancer patients are battling for survival as Generation 40 (G40) ministers scramble to lick the Zimbabwean president.”

Moyo said the construction phase is going to start in the next six months when groups set up to oversee its incubation under the supervision of the University of Zimbabwe submit their working plans.

Government will initially release $1 billion for the construction project.

According to the 2017 budget estimates of expenditure in the Blue Book, there is no budgetary provision for the university.

Moyo said the Robert Mugabe University will be a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (Stem) institution designed to facilitate the discovery of scientific, technological and engineering solutions to improve the quality of life in Zimbabwe.

The university will concentrate on Stem areas exclusively at graduate level.

Meanwhile, there are suggestions to rename the Harare International Airport after Robert Mugabe.

Comments (3)

Musoro bhangu is crazy!!!!!!!!!

tatenda - 14 August 2017

So there was no budget for this university but somehow government has extra $1bn to spare.This is our $15bn slowly resurfing thats what im hearing.Cant wait for 2018,we kick these idiots out

Tariro - 15 August 2017

Asi Beitbridge -Harare road project has not started construction despite lies of the project starting soon.Mari yekuvaka University yavakaubvepi imi muchiti hamuna mari . Kuda kusiira mhuri yaMugabe upfumi chete uku.

chimuti - 16 August 2017

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