Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter—
President Mugabe yesterday commended plans by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces to transform the National Defence College into a fully-fledged university, as this will help fill existing gaps in security education. The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces said this at the graduation of 26 students who took part in the National Defence Course 02/ 2013 at the NDC.
“There are also active plans to transform the NDC to a National Defence University,” said President Mugabe.
“I am informed that a board has already been convened to identify and implement the necessary process for the establishment of a National Defence University by September 2015.
“This transformation is yet another commendable initiative by the ZDF in its efforts to fill an existing gap in security education.”
The NDC offers a Master of Science degree in International Studies accredited by the University of Zimbabwe.
“The affiliation has also seen the UZ releasing experienced lecturers to teach at the NDC,” said President Mugabe.
“Besides this, the UZ has also facilitated access by NDC staff and students to its library facilities, including the use of its anti-plagiarism software.”
President Mugabe said that despite its infancy, the college was set on a firm foundation.
“Though still in its infancy, today’s (yesterday) graduands being its second crop, the college has begun on a firm footing to mould high quality students,” he said.
“Driven by its mission statement, the college seeks to develop a holistic approach in training students in matters of military, political, economic and environmental security.
“The mission statement is an expression on the college’s philosophy as well as being a base for a well focused lecturing approach that blends theory and practice.”
President Mugabe commended efforts by the ZDF to be self-sustaining.
“To achieve its NDC success story, the ZDF benefited from adopting a policy of self-reliance, supported by invaluable assistance, receive from our all-weather friends of China and Pakistan,” he said.
“The Chinese contributed to the speedy construction of the college, with a donation of furniture and ICT equipment.
“Pakistan has provided requisite training consistently since independence.
“We continue to appreciate and acknowledge our friends.”
The course focused on political, economic, social and legal systems of Zimbabwe and during their studies the students toured all the country’s 10 provinces, including the victims of the Tokwe-Mukosi floods to assess the nation’s disaster preparedness.
They also toured the Ministry of Finance, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Investment Authority and the NewZimSteel.
Other courses focused on regional and international security, national security and Zimbabwe’s national security environment and national defence building, planning, development and management.
The students were drawn from the Zimbabwe National Army, the Air Force of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services, the President’s Office and the Ministry of Finance.
Five out of the 26 graduates were female and President Mugabe called for more female participation in the future.