By Patrick Chitumba
The peace and unity prevailing in Zimbabwe are the cornerstone to its modernisation and a prerequisite for attracting foreign investment, President Mnangagwa has said.
The President said this as he addressed the corporate world and academics during a Midlands State University (MSU) fund-raising golf tournament and dinner for the construction of the Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa Law School and Liberation Heritage Centre in Kwekwe on Saturday.
The President donated $50 000 towards the project.
“I believe that, ladies and gentlemen, let us be found standing up to grow our economy, to modernise our lives. You can only attract global capital into your own jurisdiction if they recognise that you have a vision and a roadmap, you know where you want to go and what you want to achieve. That way you will attract external support,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Developing and middle-income countries have only achieved those statuses because they have maintained peace in their countries; they are united, they collaborate, and both the private and public sectors work together. These projects call them ‘ours’ and not ‘theirs’.
President Mnangagwa said when people work together, nothing can stop them from realising their goals, adding that it was possible to have a world class State university in Kwekwe.
“We have come to support this vision by MSU to build a campus here in Kwekwe,” he said. “It is slightly fair for me to talk about this because when Professor (Ngwabi) Bhebhe was still vice-chancellor for MSU, we worked on this together.
“I am happy that the idea (of having a Law School in Kwekwe) is still the original one that we had when we were sitting until after midnight trying to craft how to bring about MSU at the time because the demands were for State universities across the country and it depended on how well prepared and how well structured your argument was,” the President said.
“I am happy I had the people in the mould of Prof Bhebhe, the late Richard Hove, the late Midlands Province Governor Cephas Msipa, July Moyo and Fredrick Shava, who were the brains and I was only chairing the meeting and taking the information to the right places.”
President Mnangagwa said under the Second Republic, the vision was to turn the country into an upper middle-income economy although there were people who doubted that vision.
“We sat together with my colleagues and said we want this country to attain upper middle-class economic status by 2030,” he said. “I know among my team there are those who agreed and some who didn’t, but could not say so.
“I also said Zimbabwe is open for business and some looked at each other asking what I had consumed. But I have added another mantra to say we are open for business and dialogue.”
President Mnangagwa said MSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Victor Muzvidziwa now had the task of making sure that the Kwekwe Law School construction becomes a reality.
“So, this (fund-raising dinner and golf) is the second step towards the realisation of this dream,” he said. “When MSU was started, former president Mugabe asked me where we would get a Vice Chancellor. At the time, Prof Bhebhe was teaching History at the University of Zimbabwe.
“The burden now is with Prof Muzvidziwa to make sure the project comes to life. You have started well by gathering these people here today. I was listening to your message and you are very clear on your roadmap. It’s a message of hope.
“It’s very clear and you are not saying to the Finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube give us money for this project. But you are also saying we as the private sector or as parents, this is where we want to go for the benefit of our children.”
Businessman and owner of Solomon Hotel Mr Solomon Matsa donated $50 000 towards the project, while Bishop Kandros Mugabe from Kwekwe donated 20 000 bricks, among other notable donations from various people and institutions which ran into thousands of dollars in both cash and kind.