MATABELELAND North legislators say qualified lecturers are shunning Lupane State University (LSU) because of lack of accommodation in the provincial capital.
BY NQOBILE BHEBHE
Binga legislator Joel Gabbuza Gabuza said the government should prioritise constructing proper structures at the LSU site to attract qualified staff.
“We have Lupane State University in Matabeleland North. It is a State university. It is actually supposed to be a university at Lupane, but is presently in Bulawayo,” he said.
“It is not at Lupane or in Matabeleland North and it has taken long to be constructed.
“God knows when it is going to be completed. I think that it is important that we do not plan for many more of what would become white elephants.
“You say I am from the University of Marondera. Where is the university?
“You cannot even point at a structure, but people are graduating from that university.”
LSU is using several rented premises in Bulawayo, 170km outside Lupane. Its relocation scheduled for July now hangs in the balance after Treasury failed to release funding.
Gabuza said the government should prove its capacity to properly set up more State universities by speeding up the construction of the LSU infrastructure.
“So, I really implore the (Higher Education) ministry to come up with creative measures of making sure there is infrastructure to promote university education — that is noble, and very noble — proposed in new institutions that would be established in the country,” he said
Matabeleland North senator Sibusisiwe Budha-Masara said LSU was forking out $100 000 in monthly rentals in Bulawayo.
She said all State universities lacked skilled manpower because of their location in outlying areas.
“Lupane State University is paying over $100 000 a month to rent various sport venues in Bulawayo and very little is happening at Lupane site because no money has been disbursed to the university for capital projects,” she said.
“This creates a problem, especially when you are recruiting experienced lecturers and professors.
“When interviewing professors and eligible lecturers, they have a challenge because they see the advertisement online and they apply coming from South Africa, but when they get here they ask where the university is located.
“They would have passed the interview and they do not come back. So, that is a challenge.
“All these State universities do not actually have skilled manpower because of that.”
LSU started operations in 2005.