Staff Sergeant Edmore Chaipa
The Commander-In-Chief of the Zimbabwe National Defence Forces, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa officially launched the Zimbabwe National Defence University at Rodgers Alfred Nikita Mangena Barracks on 16 November 2018.
In his keynote address at the launch, President Mnangagwa highlighted that the university was geared towards contributing to the economic growth of the country.
“The emergence of this university is not only timeous, but also opportune as it is going to enhance the development of human capital in various disciplines in the context of defence, security and the protection of our territorial integrity.
“The university is joining the higher and tertiary education sector following a paradigm shift with regards to the contribution of institutions of higher learning to the revival, industrialisation, modernisation and growth of our country,” he said.
The President also challenged the university to explore ideas and innovations that promote economic growth. “The university must develop a broad and comprehensive education system with a responsive curriculum where students appreciate the broader socio-economic, technological and political aspirations illuminated by an all-encompassing strategic thought of national peace and security,”
“To this end, the university must proffer dynamic, cutting-edge ideas, insights, skills and innovations that will set our country on a new economic growth trajectory. I, therefore, challenge the university to complement other institutions of higher learning in areas of research needed to understand and authoritatively analyse contemporary national issues using both theoretical and empirical tools for pragmatic and realistic outcomes,” said President Mnangagwa.
President Mnangagwa was also appointed ZNDU Chancellor at the launch ceremony. He also led a ground-breaking ceremony at the site where an Innovation Incubation Hub would be constructed near the university premises.
Commander Defence Forces, General Philip Valerio Sibanda, who is also the Vice Chairman of the university’s Council thanked President Mnangagwa for gracing the occasion and said he would ensure that the transition to a fully-fledged university would be smooth. “I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that the council will now do everything in our power to ensure that the transition to a fully-fledged university is implemented.”
The Zimbabwe National Defence University became a university when it transformed from being the National Defence College in March 2017. The ceremony was attended by Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, service chiefs and other senior Government officials.