Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has donated tractors to two farmers from Filabusi who granted 106 hectares of land to Gwanda State University (GSU) to enable the institution of higher learning to conduct agriculture related research activities.
The donation to Mr Sikhonjwa Moyo and Mr Ntsieng Ndlovu was annnounced last Friday during the university’s inaugural graduation ceremony.
The President was also installed as the university’s chancellor on the same day.
GSU is expected to champion research on animal and veterinary sciences, irrigation engineering and management, mining engineering, environmental engineering and environmental management and ecosystem restoration.
The land donated by the farmes will enable the university to fulfil its research mandate.
The country’s universities and colleges have been urged to respond to challenges facing their respective communities.
Delivering the Chancellor’s acceptance speech, President Mnangagwa commended Mr Moyo and Mr Ndlovu for allocating land to the university.
He challenged other citizens to emulate the two farmers whose farms are close to the university.
“I want to applaud the patriotic gesture by Mr Ntsieng Ndlovu and Mr Sikhonjwa Moyo who are neighbours of the university for donating 50 and 56 hectares of land respectively towards the establishment of paddocks and cropping fields for the university’s agriculture division.
Such acts of selfless generosity for the collective good must be emulated, not only in building Gwanda State University but other national institutions for the overall growth of our country’s economy,” said President Mnangagwa.
He told the guests that he had donated tractors to the two farmers as he presided over the laying of foundation stones for the Engineering Laboratory and Innovation Complex, Lecture Block and Agro-Innovation Complex and Agro Industrial Park at GSU Epoch Mine Campus in Insiza district, Matabeleland South.
“I have congratulated the two gentlemen who donated 50 ha and 56 ha to GSU Mr Ndlovu and Mr Moyo. I have donated a tractor to each of them,” said the President.
In an interview one of the farmers, Mr Moyo said he had not expected to be given any gift after donating land to the institution.
“My farm is next to GSU so when the university was fencing off its perimeter, it mistakenly encroached into my land. We had engagements and I decided to donate the land to the institution,” said Mr Moyo.
He said during the graduation ceremony he was pleasantly surprised to hear the President acknowledging them for providing land to the university.
Mr Moyo said after the ceremony he had an opportunity to briefly chat with President Mnangagwa, who expressed gratitude for the gesture he made to the university.
“He said it was a noble gesture that on my free will I donated land for the development of the university which is my neighbour.
When I was chatting with him he asked me how best he could assist me and I told him I needed a tractor. The President later announced that he had donated a tractor each to me and Mr Ndlovu” said Mr Moyo.
He described President Mnangagwa as a leader who pays attention to detail during an engagement.
Mr Moyo said his first interaction with President Mnangagwa was in the 1980s.
At that time, the President was a Cabinet Minister while Mr Moyo worked as an education officer in the Midlands Province.
“I remember in the 1980s, we were commissioning Tongogara High School in Shurugwi, I was an education officer in the district, so I was making remarks during the event.
I tried to speak in Shona, but the President who was a Cabinet Minister then said Moyo, you may speak in IsiNdebele most of the people here understand the language. So, when I met him I reminded him of that encounter,” said Mr Moyo.
He said he has benefited from the establishment of the university in his home area.
Mr Moyo said through the relations with the institution, lecturers and students conduct some of the practical lessons at his farm.
“They have assisted me in livestock management because I have allowed them to conduct some of the animal husbandry activities on my farm.
When I have a problem with any animal disease, I quickly engage the university and they respond fast. So we have a mutually beneficial relationship,” said Mr Moyo.
Mr Ndlovu could not be reached for comment. — @nqotshili.
Article Source: The Chronicle