Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Reporter
PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday conferred degrees to 320 students from the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) at a ceremony that coincided with the university’s 10th anniversary.
The graduands came from the university’s four schools namely engineering and technology, industrial sciences and technology, information science and technology and the school of business and management sciences.
In his address, the university’s vice chancellor Eng Quinton Kanhukamwe hailed the 10-point plan for economic growth as having facilitated some of the university’s research, development and innovation outputs.
“Your (President Mugabe) unwavering commitment to the total emancipation and empowerment of Zimbabweans as witnessed by massive investment in education and higher education has made this day possible,” he said.
Eng Kanhukamwe said HIT was making great strides towards commercialisation of its technologies, some of which had already been registered as intellectual property.
To date, Eng Kanhukamwe said HIT registered four patents, one utility model and 15 copyrights.
He said these innovations range from an automated hydraulic machine for the mining industry, an intelligent tobacco grading machine, the indigenous traditional medicines project and a biogas digester.
The university has made strides in developing a calcium carbide production plant used for the production of calcium carbide — a key raw material in the manufacture of acetylene gas, fertilisers and in steel-making.
“The university is in the process of up-scaling these among others for industrial application,” said Eng Kanhukamwe.
He said these projects are a clear testimony to the university’s commitment not only to Zim-Asset, but also to its contribution to rapid technological industrialisation of the country.
Eng Kanhukamwe said since inception in 2008, HIT had gone a long way in infrastructural development which has seen the university constructing new buildings, refurbishing students’ hostels and procurement of equipments.
He, however, appealed for a Zimdef dedicated budget line to be availed to support the institute’s laboratory consumables and equipmentation drive.
“The uniqueness and complexity of our mandate in terms of its hi-tech equipment and consumables intensiveness, which make the programmes expensive to run, calls for increased funding support, especially when we consider that your university, Your Excellency and Chancellor, is not a numbers institution,” he said.
Turning to the graduands, Eng Kanhukamwe challenged them to be patriotic technocrats who stimulate technological development, incubation, transfer and commercialisation.
Of the 320 graduands, 105 came from the School of Engineering and Technology, 40 from the School of Industrial Sciences and Technology, 124 from School of Information Science and technology and 51 from the School of Business and Management Sciences.