President’s scholarship trust raises over US$1,5m for students

Source: President’s scholarship trust raises over US$1,5m for students | Herald (Top Stories)

President Mnangagwa

Herald Reporter

President Mnangagwa’s ED-UNZA scholarship trust raised over US$1,5 million and $19 million during a fundraising dinner held recently to support disadvantaged but deserving families with access to tertiary education.

Known as the Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa University of Zambia Scholarship Programme (ED-UNZA), the funds will benefit both Zimbabwean and Zambian students in an exchange that is expected to nurture the good bilateral relations existing between the two countries.

The Trust has this year taken additional 15 students, of which 10 will be going to the University of Zambia (UNZA) and five are headed for Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT).

During the fundraising dinner, some sponsors donated cash while others will be taking on additional students who did not get the scholarship and paying fees directly to the university or offer internships for the students.

The ED-UNZA Scholarship Trust was initiated by President Mnangagwa in 2019 to assist the less privileged.

In his keynote address, President Mnangagwa said everyone regardless of social status, needs to have access to quality education towards promoting economic development and eradicating poverty.

“It is most unfortunate, however, that some academically gifted students fail to access tertiary level education due to socio-economic constraints. It is the duty of society therefore to bridge the gap and lift the standards of living of our communities including the most vulnerable and disadvantaged,” said President Mnangagwa.

“The country requires specialised skills and entrepreneurs who will produce high quality goods and services for the nation to have sufficient commodities for domestic consumption as well as excess for exports.

“To achieve this, we need to ensure that all our young, talented boys and girls are able to participate and play their part. Hence, the promotion of equitable access to quality education being championed by my administration.”

President Mnangagwa said he felt obligated to assist under privileged families in line with the Second Republic’s thrust of not leaving anyone or place behind.

“In this regard, I established the ED-UNZA Scholarship Fund and pledged to support under-privileged Zimbabwean candidates to further their studies at the University of Zambia as well as at universities in Zimbabwe.

“Having attended the University of Zambia for my university education, I also felt it necessary to champion a sustainable scholarship programme in response to the need for promoting an inclusive, well-co-ordinated and universal access to tertiary education by under-privileged students in Zimbabwe and Zambia,” he said.

The scholarship programme is sponsoring under-graduate students at the University of Zambia and in Zimbabwe, by paying the tuition and boarding fees for the selected students.

Beneficiaries of the scholarship are pursuing studies in law, medicine and sciences.

The Trust’s liaison officer, Mrs Farai Mlotshwa, commended the corporate world for extending their helping hand.

“As the Board of Trustees, we are so proud of the progress and excellent standards our students are upholding. So to you beneficiaries here present, continue to, not only make your benefactors proud, but your families too, as they have sacrificed so much for you to get to A Level.

“Those of you who are orphaned, you are certainly building a proud legacy for your departed parents.

“For the students that have been selected for 2023, I wish you the best in your endeavours and trust that you too will do your family and country proud.

“The selection process was very difficult as we discovered Zimbabwe has very talented students doing extremely well in very challenging conditions,” ,” said Mrs Mlotshwa.

Speaking at the same occasion, one of the first graduates under the programme, Kumikidzai Munakopa, commended President Mnangagwa for his benevolence which saw her reviving her career that had been derailed by the death of her benefactors.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Laws Honours degree from Cavendish University Zambia.

“The journey to my official conferment was not an easy one. I wouldn’t have made it to where I am today if it wasn’t for my heaven-sent President ED Mnangagwa, who came through and supported my dream to become a lawyer through his ED UNZA Scholarship Programme,” she said.

Another beneficiary, Mukuka Ndashe said she was a student at Chinhoyi University of Technology, studying Agricultural Engineering.

“I was awarded the Presidential Scholarship in February 2021. I was a girl with good grades coming from a family where my parents could not afford to pay for my tuition fees at a local university, hence this scholarship came as a blessing as well as a breakthrough for me and my family,” she said.

Another student, Simbarashe Muranduri said he felt humbled.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, Your Excellency, and the Board of Trustees for ED UNZA Scholarship, one of the best scholarships anyone can imagine.

“You have shown your sincere kindness by lending a hand in our education and well-being by catering for my school fees, school expenses and every necessity,” he said.

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