Varsities to be audited on mandate
Walter Nyamukondiwa Chinhoyi Bureau
The government will soon audit universities’ conformity to their general mandate of generating new knowledge and intellectual property and patents, which will help spur community and economic development.
This was said by Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo at the commissioning of a library at Chinhoyi University of Technology yesterday.
Prof Moyo said universities that have no research leading to intellectual property and patents did not deserve the status.
“If you are not creating any intellectual property Professor (David) Simbi (CUT vice chancellor) then you are not a university.”
Prof Moyo said generation of intellectual property and patents was a multi-million dollar business which should help in the development of universities and Zimbabwe’s economy.
Unlike teachers’ training colleges, polytechnics and industrial training centres, universities were there to generate new knowledge usable to create wealth and respond to the nation’s challenges.
This is expressed through registered patents and industrial designs that can be commercially exploited.
Prof Moyo said the CUT library, refurbished to the tune of $84,000 provided by platinum mining giant Zimplats, should be a repository of intellectual property primarily generated at the university.
He said a library should be accessible even from the comfort of someone’s home through use of digital technology.
Prof Moyo hailed Zimplats’ involvement in the development of CUT through funding the construction of the library’s extension to accommodate an extra 120 students.
Zimplats managing director Stanley Segula said the donation was part of the organisation’s community social investment.
“The scope of the request was initially for us to assist in the construction of an extension to the library at a cost of $60,000,” he said. “This was then broadened to include the provision of furniture and other equipment including chairs, reading tables, computers and computer work stations at an additional cost of $23, 800 and we were pleased to comply with the request.”
Zimplats has also partnered the University of Zimbabwe and the National University of Science and Technology.
Prof Simbi said the gesture by Zimplats would go a long way in fulfilling the university’s mandate to open new frontiers of knowledge.
The commissioning ceremony was also attended by Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa who bemoaned the dearth of new discoveries, especially in mining.