Presidential scholarship opens pathway to success for many The President welcomes beneficiaries of the ED-UNZA (University of Zambia) Scholarship programme at State House in Harare yesterday. — Picture: Believe Nyakudjara

Political Editor

AFTER passing Advanced Level examinations with flying colours, every student dreams of enrolling at university and pursuing a degree programme that sets him or her up in life, but that dream is not for everybody since tertiary education is usually costly and the underprivileged usually fall by the wayside.

However, for some deprived students, whose dream of progressing beyond A-Level was dimming by the day or hung by a thread, there is light in the tunnel, thanks to a personal scholarship from President Mnangagwa, that specifically targets children from underprivileged backgrounds, and eases them to university.

In November 2019, President Mnangagwa, who studied at the University of Zambia (UNZA)  founded the ED-UNZA Scholarship, whose objectives are to identify youth who are highly gifted academically, but have not been able to proceed to university due to their underprivileged status.

The youths are drawn from both Zimbabwe and Zambia and would have passed with 15 points.

Yesterday, 10 of the students who will cross the Zambezi River to study in Zambia met President Mnangagwa at State House.

Militia Mukuyu from Binga, an area that was once out of sight and mind in the past, but where development has been taken by the Second Republic with roads and airstrips being constructed, spoke in his mother tongue Tonga and doffed his hat to President Mnangagwa for remembering him and his people.

“I am very thankful for this opportunity that I have been given to go further with my education, it is indeed a dream come true,” he said.

Another beneficiary, Godknows Moyo from Beitbridge, who did his A-Level at Pembe High School also spoke in the language of his forebearers Venda, thanking President Mnangagwa for reaching out to children in far-flung areas.

Leanrose Mativenga, who scooped 24 points at A-Level at a school in Plumtree has her dream of becoming a lawyer answered, thanks to the President’s personal scholarship, which certainly leaves no one and no place behind.

“Not everything comes on a silver platter and I am happy that I have been given the chance to further my education at UNZA, I am ready for this new chapter,” she said.

In fulfilment of the President’s mission that leaves no one and no place behind, the students are drawn from all the country’s 10 provinces, and there is a clear reflection of gender balance.

Mr Herbert Nkala, chairperson of the Trust, said students on the scholarship, who are already studying at UNZA have been coming tops in their classes.

“This is a manifestation of what His Excellency created as the ED UNZA Scholarship Trust in 2019. Essentially, this is for our very bright students in all our 10 provinces whose parents cannot afford to send their children to college, we are picking up the gems of youngsters who are highly talented, and who had no opportunity whatsoever to continue with their education.

“The scholarship created by the President enables these students to study medicine and law, so these are highly gifted children whose dreams had collapsed because of lack of resources, so we are very delighted as a Trust.”

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