University students display debate skills

Nqobile Dube and Fungai Chivaura of Catholic University of Zimbabwe (Harare campus) shrugged off stiff competition and triumphed at this year’s Debate Open Challenge (DOC) held at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) on Sunday.

BY NONHLANHLA SIBANDA

Running under the theme “Giving the Youths a Voice”, the final motion was debated under the statement “Assuming that it was technologically possible, this house would clone extinct animals”.

Forty participating teams debated in the six preliminaries and the 16 top ranked teams proceeded to the quarter-finals.

Eight teams qualified for the semi-final and subsequently the best four debated in the final.

Experienced pool of judges were assembles from the global debate circuit to ensure enhanced quality of adjudication.

The convener of Berlin WUDC 2013, Patrick Ehmann (from Germany), was the chief adjudicator along with Charity Makhala, a renowned adjudicator from Botswana, who is pioneering the growth of debate in Africa.

The team consisted of two deputy chief adjudicators – Boemo Delano Phirinyane the current Pan- African universities debate champion and Michael Mhlanga a former renowned speaker from Lupane State University.

Best overall speaker was Nompilo Nkomo from Lupane State University, who got the best female speaker kudos. The best male speaker was Abel Nxumalo of the Midlands State University.

Great Zimbabwe University, Belvedere Technical Teachers’ College, Morgan Zintec, Lupane State University, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic, the Midlands State University, Bulawayo Polytechnic, the Catholic University of Zimbabwe, University of Zimbabwe, Harare Polytechnic, National, University of Science and Technology, attended the debate showcase.

DOC was formed by former development studies students at Lupane State University, currently studying for Masters degree at Nust, Thabo Dube, Lupane State University debate society president Tatenda Muzamindo and fourth year development studies student at Lupane State University, Luther Bajila, author of the recently published poetry anthology, Rango: The Lion of Africa.

Debating institutions and individuals get an opportunity through the debate to engage with each other in dealing with real life situations that affect the world while giving students a leading role in organising.

The challenge was founded in 2014 and the inaugural tournament was held at Lupane State University in the same year.

National Youth Development Trust, Musi Trust and Nust student representative council were the sponsors of the tests of minds for 2015.

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