Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
President Mnangagwa yesterday urged South Africa-bound students on the Presidential scholarship to go and acquire knowledge and skills that would assist in the country’s development. The President said this at a ceremony he hosted for the 75 students at State House yesterday.
“You are now going to acquire knowledge and skills at the various universities and we expect you to come back home to rebuild our country.
“No one will build it for us, but on our own, and you should be motivated to build your country,” he said. The President urged the students to maintain high standards of discipline as they were representing the whole country.
“You should listen to your lecturers and maintain good behaviour and be disciplined, it’s important,” President Mnangagwa said.
He added that they should not abuse the opportunity they got as there were thousands other students who had failed to get the chance to study abroad. The President said his life was an example of how one can succeed through hard work and determination.
“I also grew up in the rural areas like most of you here and experienced the same life you have experienced. My mother also used to sell farm produce to send me to school, but look at where I am today.
“If you persevere and are determined, you will succeed in life and achieve whatever you want,” President Mnangagwa added.
He also advised the students to further their education even after they have achieved their undergraduate degrees to keep up with the fast pace of the changing world. “The world is changing fast, so you should keep on studying and improving yourselves.
“In our days, we only aspired to be teachers and nurses, but these days you can be anything you want, be it a doctor, an accountant or an engineer. Our policy is that every boy and girl should have access to education and those underprivileged should be assisted by Government so that they do not have an excuse for failure, but fail on their own,” he said.
The President said Government was aware of challenges that some students on scholarships in various countries were facing, and was addressing them. “Due to sanctions, we had challenges in assisting students in other countries, but things are getting better and will continue to get better.
“We have sent minister (Christopher) Mushohwe to the various countries to solve those challenges facing children and soon he will go to Cyprus to solve issues there,” President Mnangagwa said.
Minister Mushohwe is the Minister of State responsible for Government Scholarships. Zimbabwe has bilateral agreements with over 10 countries that offer scholarships to local students.
The students were drawn from all the country’s 10 province and districts and would be studying various programmes that include, agriculture, law and accounts.