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Thursday, July 18, 2024

ED-UNZA scholarship dinner raises over half a million dollars

Story by Josephine Mugiyo

A fundraising dinner for the ED-UNZA scholarship, an initiative by President Emmerson Mnangagwa was held at State House in Harare this Friday evening, with the President calling on the business community to come on board to help bright students from less privileged backgrounds to pursue their education and change their future.

Established in 2019 and a brain child of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the ED-UNZA scholarship programme, brings hope to less privileged but highly talented students, giving them a shot at not only changing their livelihoods but also impacting positively on the communities they come from.

Drawn from different backgrounds, the students are chosen not just from Zimbabwe’s ten provinces, but some from Zambia are also picked to pursue their studies at the University of Zambia where President Mnangagwa attained his law degree.

Lately, some students are also being sent to other institutions of higher learning within Zimbabwe in addition to those who go to the University of Zambia.

This Friday evening as the year winds to an end, the business community from across Zimbabwe gathered at State House for a noble cause with over half a million United States dollars being raised on the night.

President Mnangagwa applauded the business entities who gave towards the cause for their kindness, as he explained how the scholarship initiative is his way of giving back to the less privileged in recognition of how he himself was assisted to gain an education while in prison through the sponsorship of organisations like Christian Council.

He said, “I recognize our captains of industry. Under the chairmanship of Mr Herbert Nkala the scholarship fund has assisted underprivileged children. The scholarship fund is audited Enrollment levels the pioneer group started with 10 Zimbabweans and five Zambians. So now the students also go to other universities.

“I want to thank Dairiboard and Chinhoyi University. Seven Zimbabwean students at the University of Zambia have commenced their law degrees. We’ve been told of a girl Nomsa who is doing medicine. I like this support because my own history I have never been to formal schools. I went to prison and the Christian council paid for our education. So to me it’s time to pay back. I got assisted, your dedication and commitment as stakeholders is cherished. Your donations in cash and in kind are an investment in the younger generation.”

During the interactive night with the business community, President Mnangagwa who also thanked the embassy officials from both Zimbabwe and Zambia for their facilitatory role in ensuring the students get the required assistance, said donations are welcome throughout the year.

“Donations are welcome throughout the year. I commend the ambassador of Zambia to Zimbabwe and Zimbabwean Ambassador to Zambian, for the facilitatory role they always play,” said the President.

As they gave towards a noble cause, some individuals made significant donations for as much as US$30 000.

Some business entities also offered job opportunities for some of the students studying under the ED-UNZA scholarship.

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