Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Correspondent
President Mugabe’s fearlessness and passion for education should be reciprocated by all students especially those who are going to study in Russia under the Presidential Scholarship and National Scholarships Programme, the executive director of the programme Dr Christopher Mushohwe said yesterday.
Speaking at a local hotel during a farewell ceremony for 70 students who will be leaving to pursue undergraduate and post-graduate studies in Russia, Dr Mushohwe, who is also the Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, said President Mugabe exhibited his fearlessness at the ongoing 72nd Ordinary Session of the United Nations where he referred to the US President Donald Trump as the “biblical Goliath”.
Dr Mushohwe said President Mugabe’s passion for education was exemplary.
“President Mugabe is a teacher par excellence. Everything else that you know of President Mugabe comes from being a teacher. He is an academic, he is a scholar, a politician and statesman. I am sure those of you who read newspapers you saw that yesterday, he referred to Trump as Goliath while Trump was looking at him, so he is a fearless statesman,” he said.
“Immediately after independence, President Mugabe quietly and secretly converted three of his offices at Zimbabwe House into classrooms because he wanted some of his newly appointed generals, senior civil servants and ministers to be given an opportunity to study. That programme was the precursor of the Presidential Scholarship programme which he started in 1995.”
Minister Mushohwe warned the students who were accompanied by their parents and guardians to be disciplined and to take their studies seriously saying they should not soil the good relations between Moscow and Harare.
He chronicled how President Mugabe obtained his first degree at Fort Hare University in the 1950s under colonial bondage saying this represented the bravery in him.
He said despite the President being incarcerated for 11 years, he remained resolute to the struggle as well as in his studies as he managed to obtain six degrees under heinous conditions.
“No amount of difficulty should deter you from realising your dream. If you are determined and resolute in what you want to do, the sky can only be the limit,” he said.
“President Mugabe came home from Ghana where he was a teacher and having tasted the sweetness of independence in that country he decided to cancel his contract with the Ghanaian government and remained here and joined other compatriots to fight for the liberation of this country.
“He knew he was going to be arrested, he knew he was going to be incarcerated, he knew it was possible to die, but he decided to abandon the luxury of the newly independent Ghana to come and join others to fight for independence.”
Minister Mushohwe said most of the students were going to study science-related programmes as they were coming from a country with a solid education background.
He said Russia was the world’s leading county in technological advancement saying even the technological breakthrough in the US from the manufacturing of vehicles, aircrafts as well as software engineering was being spearheaded by Russian engineers.
“And that is what we are emphasising with Russia. We want you to be able to come back home and help Zimbabwe to industrialise. We are not sending you to Russia to go and help other countries to industrialise. We know that many of you will come back as experts,” he said.