George Maponga Masvingo Bureau
Chancellor of Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) President Mugabe has extended Vice Chancellor Professor Rungano Zvobgo’s term of office by another six years.
Prof Zvobgo was appointed and installed as the second GZU Vice Chancellor in 2012 under a five-year contract.
GZU, under Prof Zvobgo’s stewardship, has transformed into one of the best institutions of higher learning in Zimbabwe.
Prof Zvobgo gained acclaim for transforming GZU into a reputable university after introducing the multi-campus system.
The system has seen the GZU opening various schools in and around Masvingo City, despite biting economic challenges spawned by sanctions.
In an interview, Prof Zvobgo said he was elated with the contract extension.
“I am naturally grateful to His Excellency, President Robert Mugabe for giving me another six years to lead Great Zimbabwe University. I got a new six-year mandate which is unprecedented. For me its confirmation that I am doing my best,” he said.
The renewal will see Prof Zvobgo leading the institution until 2022.
Prof Zvobgo said he was proud of his achievements during his first tenure at GZU.
“We managed to build the state of the art Hebert Chitepo Law School, the Robert Mugabe School of Education, opened the Mucheke and Mashava campuses among other achievements that are there for all to see,” he said.
There are also plans for the GZU to establish the School of Medicine that is expected to start taking shape within the next six months.
The medical school will be housed at what used to be Riverside Lodge close to the Masvingo-Mashava Road.
Professor Zvobgo said his main objective during his new term was to build structures at the university’s permanent site near Great Zimbabwe Monuments.
Great Zimbabwe University has not yet set up structures at its permanent site owing to the prevailing harsh economic environment.
The institution recently held a fundraising dinner to mobilise funds to build a Convocation Hall at the permanent site.
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was the guest of honour at the dinner, commended the GZU management for thinking outside the box and overseeing the growth of the university both in terms of enrollment and physical structures despite the economic hardships which the nation is currently grappling with.
He said the rapid growth and expansion of Great Zimbabwe University should serve as an example for other university leaders locally who he said were supposed to take a leaf from what Professor Zvobgo and his team were doing.
Great Zimbabwe University’s student population has shot up from a mere 4 000 in 2012 to the current 16 000.
Professor Zvobgo said his institution was aiming at increasing the enrollment to 18 000 by the end of next year.
Great Zimbabwe University was established in 2007 having initially opened as Masvingo State University before it was renamed at President Mugabe’s behest.
VC Zvobgo took over from the university’s first vice chancellor Professor Obert Maravanyika.