The University of Fort Hare revives relations with the Zimbabwean government

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The University of Fort Hare management, represented by the Registrar Professor Michael Somniso, met with the Zimbabwean Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Honorable Dr C.C. Mushohwe, who is also the Executive Director of the Zimbabwean Presidential Scholarship, on the 3rd of October 2016, at the Fort Hare East London Campus.The purpose of the meeting was to resuscitate relations between the University of Fort Hare and the Zimbabwean government. Speaking in this meeting, Honorable Mushohwe spoke so fondly of the history of the Zimbabwean presidential scholarship, which first opened doors for underprivileged Zimbabwean students in 1995, sponsoring 15 students, all stationed at the University of Fort Hare. Since then, the Zimbabwean government has continued to send students to a number of South African Universities, with Fort Hare ever receiving the largest portion of students due to the fact that the University of Fort Hare is the Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s alma mater and the ties he has with the institution. Although no students were sent on scholarship to South African Universities in 2014 due to the financial crunch Zimbabwe was facing at the time, some students were sent in 2015 and it is expected that some students will be sent to the University of Fort Hare, University of Johannesburg and Witwatersrand University in 2017. The Minister expressed his deep interest in the South African educational system as it has helped many a Zimbabwean student to realize their dream, and he urged the management to encourage its students to make education a priority. “South African students must focus on education instead of the violent protest and destruction of universities properties, because it is education that will enable them to run their economy effectively.” said Honorable Mushohwe. The University of Fort Hare management assured the Minister that the Zimbabwean students and other international students were in safe hands as arrangements were made for them when the university temporarily suspended academic programs due to students’ protests.