RUSAPE may be a small town that rarely makes headlines, but like the insignificant biblical habitat of Bethlehem out of which the Messiah was born, the town now boasts of being home to the winners of the inaugural CBZ Schools Debate Championship.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
St Joseph Makoni Primary pocketed $ 15 000 plus a floating trophy at the weekend after outclassing nine other provincial winners from across the country at Rainbow Towers Hotel in Bulawayo.
Mabhugudhwane, who represented Bulawayo, and Matabeleland South’s representative Welton Primary, received $10 000 and $5 000 plus trophies respectively while all the provincial winners pocketed $2 000 each.
Primary and Secondary Education minister Paul Mavima (pictured), who was the guest of honour at the event, applauded the debate organisers financial services CBZ Holdings and Institute of African Knowledge in partnership with National Association of Primary Heads for organising the programme.
“Empowering winning schools with $50 000 in prizes to enhance and facilitate the learning process has been an overdue way of looking at things. I commend non-state actors like CBZ Holdings and Institute of African Knowledge who teamed up to bring vibrancy to the education process by deploying vast resources without motivation of profit,” he said.
Mavima said the prize monies will enable the debate clubs to invest more in research, setup and development as this was a new initiative in most of the schools concerned.
The debate’s national programme co-ordinator, Isheanesu Sibanda of Institute of African Knowledge, yesterday said the debate had unearthed abundant talented debaters in the country and they were committed to uplifting this talent with their partners by turning the event an annual episode.
“The inaugural edition of the CBZ Schools Debate Championship started very well this year, with approximately 1 000 primary schools taking part in the district, provincial and national competitions. Zimbabwe has some very good debaters and there is no doubt that in the future, some of these debaters will become national leaders and public speakers of reckon,” he said.