A GUKURAHUNDI survivor has launched an ambitious plan to raise $100 000 to construct a university at Inyathi Mission, saying the area lags behind in development as the government has not invested meaningfully in education in Matabeleland North province.
By Staff Reporter
Arnold Bhebhe, a United Kingom based lecturer, launched his appeal on crowd funding website Indiegogo this week, saying he hoped the university would provide education for young adults in Matabeleland North and catalyse investment and development in the region.
“The 1980s post-independence dissident activity in Matabeleland meant that the government of Zimbabwe disinvested from the region and unleashed a crack army unit which massacred over 20 000 civilians, including my own brother and sister,” he wrote in his appeal.
“Most of the victims were bread winners, professionals and experts in various fields including education, health, agriculture and trade.
“A lot more were displaced with some seeking sanctuary in neighbouring countries, where many remain.”
Bhebhe says with the flight and deaths of breadwinners, the surviving children could not pursue meaningful education and lack of professionals in education institutions has led to underdevelopment in the region.
He hoped once established, the university will offer courses in creative industries and journalism, nursing, primary and secondary education, agriculture, computing, tourism, linguistics and engineering.
Bhebhe said to kick-start the project, authorities at Inyathi Mission had provided 200 hectares of land, while a university charter had already been drawn up.
The appeal states that anyone who donates above $10 000 will have a building at the university named after that person, while there are various methods of appreciation for people who give between $60 and $10 000.
Inyathi Mission, the oldest mission in Zimbabwe is owned by the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa.
The church in 2009 announced plans to build a university within its farm, as it seeks to extend its contribution to the education sector in Zimbabwe.
A number of prominent people from Matabeleland are also part of the university construction project.