The cabinet of Zimbabwe approved the construction and establishment of a US$1 billion Robert Gabriel Mugabe university despite its challenges in financing the already existing higher learning institutions.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Ambassador M Mapuranga said that the Robert Gabriel Mugabe University will be situated 36 kilometres North West of Harare in Mazowe district, Mashonaland Central with the Robert Gabriel Mugabe Foundation as the responsible authority. The Robert Gabriel Mugabe Foundation’s founding trustees are President Robert Mugabe and First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe.
“Cabinet has approved a grant of $800 million towards the construction of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe University, and a grant of US$200 million towards the establishment of the University Endowment Fund for Research and Innovation”said Mapuranga.
In January this year, newly established universities cried foul over budget allocations they had received for 2017 financial year, arguing the meagre amounts are tantamount to declaring the higher institutions closed.
The Robert Gabriel Mugabe University will be a STEM institution designed to facilitate the discovery of scientific, technological and engineering solutions according to Professor Jonathan Moyo, the Minister in charge of higher education in a press statement.
“An important feature of the University will be the Robert Gabriel Mugabe Institute which would focus on research, historical collections, library and studies on transformative and revolutionary leadership, thinking and attributes that shaped the man, Robert Gabriel Mugabe to evolve from humble beginnings into an iconic global leader, nationalist, Pan Africanist, revolutionary, educationist, strategist and champion of the right of the downtrodden the world over.” said Moyo.
“This university is going to be very expensive because we don’t have any other facility like that in the country.”
Universities have always complained of poor infrastructure with the University of Zimbabwe chairman for Research, Professor Paul Mapfumo listing infrastructure as one of the problems affecting the universities in the country during a Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZIMDEF) luncheon that took place in May.
Besides the construction of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe University, Zimbabwe is yet to finish the construction of the Gwanda University in Matabeleland South. The country is also having some problems with financing other educational projects such as the new educational curriculum brought into effect by the Minister of Education Lazarus Dokora according to The Herald during the beginning of this year.