A CHINESE company, Qingdao Hengshun, with interests in construction in the country, has come to the rescue of the struggling Presidential Scholarship Scheme and offered to send 100 students to various Chinese universities annually.
BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
The deal was sealed in Harare yesterday by the trust fund chairperson, Christopher Mushohwe, who is also Information minister, and the company’s general manager Brian He.
Speaking at the signing ceremony at his Munhumutapa offices, Mushohwe said they expected the company to fund 100 students from September next year to different universities in China for various programmes.
“The students are expected to start studies in September next year. It will be full board. The company will pay for
everything including tickets from Zimbabwe to China and China to Zimbabwe,” he said.
Mushohwe said several prominent people, including State security agents and former Vice-President Joice Mujuru had benefited from the Presidential Scholarship programme.
“In 1981, immediately after independence, HE (then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe) decided to give a window of opportunity to many Zimbabweans, who had left school midstream to join the liberation struggle and this story I am telling you is known by less than 5% of Zimbabweans,” he said.
“…It is that window of opportunity that really made people like former VP Joice Mujuru, who was a beneficiary, and most of the current commanders in the army, air force, Central Intelligence Organisation and police who benefited.
“…I had the privilege also, I taught the former VP, I taught her accounts and economics at O Level. The President in addition to teaching law he would teach A Level economics…”
He said the partnership had also come at a time when the programme was celebrating its 20th anniversary and said they were planning a small commemoration ceremony.
The minister said in 2005 they increased the number of universities from just Fort Hare University in South Africa to 15 universities.