Freeman Razemba Senior Reporter
THE Zimbabwe National Defence University and the University Utara Malaysia (UUM) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at strengthening academic cooperation between the two institutions of higher learning. The MOU is also aimed at strengthening cooperation in research and exchange programmes, among others. The latest developments come after President Mugabe recently issued a proclamation announcing that the National Defence College (NDC) would now be a fully-fledged national university called the Zimbabwe National Defence University.
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President Mugabe will be the Chancellor of the university. The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces made the announcement in a Statutory Instrument published in the Government Gazette last Friday.
The declaration was made under Section 110 (1) of the national Constitution.
The MOU was signed between the university’s commandant Air Vice Marshal Michael Moyo and UUM Vice Chancellor Professor Mohammed Mustafa Bin Ishak.
Also present during the signing ceremony was Commander Defence Forces General Constantino Guvheya Chiwenga, Major General Douglas Nyikayaramba, senior army, prisons and police officers. Before the signing ceremony, Prof Ishak made a presentation to senior officers who are attending Course number 5 of 2016 at the ZNDU.
In an interview, Prof Ishak said,“I am very grateful for the invitation given to me to deliver a lecture at the National Defence College which is now being upgraded as National Defence University.
“During my presentation, I shared with the participants and the audience on the importance of investing in education in order to produce good leaders and managers for any organisation and the country,” he said.
Prof Ishak also presented on the importance of training, saying continuously training human capital from time to time to transform them so that they will perform.
“More important is to train them accordingly from time to time, giving the right training to them in order to transform them. They can only perform through training and if the right training is not given, nobody can perform and no organisation can transform,” he said.
Prof Ishak said this was the first time they had signed an MOU with any institution of higher learning in the country.
“We hope that with this symbolic gesture of signing the MOU, we can work more and collaborate more with Zimbabwe through education, through the National Defence University.
“As you know our countries have strong cordial relations and I am sure that this MOU between the two institutions marks beginning of a new era in higher education collaboration between Malaysia and Zimbabwe,” he said.
Air Vice Marshal Moyo said the signing of the MOU was a milestone achievement between the two countries.
“It’s a milestone. As far as we are concerned, the National Defence College is obviously still growing and evidence to that is the transformation to the National Defence University.
“The signing of the MOU with the University Utara Malaysia gives us options to explore areas that we are not conversant with, to tap into the expertise of colleagues and sister countries, those who have seen it before so that we adopt what we can to improve our performance.”
President Mugabe recently said the Zimbabwe National Defence University will be the nation’s defence and security hub, fostering integrative and conscious nation building.
The NDC courses are attended by senior officials from the Zimbabwe National Army, Air Force of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services, the President’s department and senior officials from other sectors to sharpen their skills in defence and national security strategy formulation.
The university, President Mugabe said, will be mandated to be the leading national defence and security institution grounded in Zimbabwean national interests and values.
He said it will also provide quality programmes fostering continuous research and innovation to respond comprehensively to challenges within the realm of the global defence and security matrix.