Cletus Mushanawani, Harare Bureau
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said his Government was aware and is gravely concerned by the manipulation of the economy by a group of people and some businesses aimed at destabilising the market through creation of artificial shortages and a black market economy.
Speaking at the 17th Bindura University of Science and Technology graduation ceremony in Bindura yesterday, President Mnangagwa warned those peddling false news on the social media.
He said the net was closing in on them.
“We also note the wanton peddling of false news through social media to cause despondency and alarm among the people.
“We are now certain and clear of the personalities behind these wicked and criminal activities and the net is closing in on them. We will soon name, shame and bring to book these gluttonous individuals and companies.”
President Mnangagwa said the country would leapfrog to a modern society through inculcating scientific mind-sets and the timely dissemination of appropriate information as well as publishing relevant research findings.
“I therefore call upon both the print and electronic media to educate the public about the value of Science education and scientific thinking in the world of today and the future.
“Institutions of higher learning such as this one must play a leading role in this regard. Government will on its part be receptive to solid scientific research outcomes.”
President Mnangagwa said there was need to demystify the belief that science subjects were difficult.
He said the country should encourage the promotion of learning of natural, biological and social sciences from early childhood.
“Bindura University must churn out graduates who are prepared and determined to ignite a science education revolution in Zimbabwe.
“To that end, we must begin to capacitate students to develop unconventional teaching methods which bolster scientific thinking and inculcates new scientific knowledge to learners at every level of the education system. Our interaction, service to the community, seminars, workshops and research studies must equally mirror an institution which is passionate to fulfil its mandate of providing world class science education which will propel our modernisation agenda.”
The President said the university should leverage on its location in Mashonaland Central to contribute to the province’s Gross Domestic Product.
“I therefore, exhort the university and graduates to use the skills and knowledge acquired from this institution to explore and exploit the wide array of natural resources that remain untapped and meaningfully contribute to the provincial Gross Domestic Product.
“It is indeed now time for an education system which is productive and responsive to our country’s socio-economic realities,” said President Mnangagwa.
A total of 1 719 students, 878 males and 841 females graduated with degrees from five faculties.
Among the graduates were Zimpapers employees Nduduzo Tshuma, Prosper Ndlovu and ShamisoYikoniko, who graduated with Masters of Science in International Relations degrees.
Speaking at the same occasion the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Eddie Mwenje, said the university scored a number of success during the 2017/18 academic year.
“Bindura University is leading a national project funded by the European Union to the tune of 38 387 Euro under the Biodiversity Information for Development (BID) programme.
“The programme seeks, among other goals, to catalogue, digitise and publish species records for non-timber forest products.”
The university also signed the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of Zimbabwe and represents the country on the International Governing Board.
It also received a grant worth $350 000 from the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM).
“The grant will allow the research team to expand work on use of tied contour rain water harvesting system in small grain and legume production for improved household food security, nutrition and income-generation in semi-arid smallholder farming areas of Zimbabwe.
“The university received funding from the International Foundation for Science for the expansion of work in flood recession cropping in Muzarabani area.
“It also received international recognition when the Institution was nominated to host the African Alliance for Disaster Research Institutes (AADRI).
“The alliance seeks to deepen the understanding of disasters and find implementable solutions to achieve disaster resilience; for example human, technical system and infrastructure resilience, survivability and well-being, by integrating knowledge and technologies from around the continent.”