Friday, 26 January 2018


The newly-created Ministry of Government Scholarships requires $10 million to enable it to run various programmes meant to equip selected Zimbabwean learners through provision of further education abroad. 

The Minister of State for Government Scholarships in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Dr Christopher Mushohwe, recently told The Herald that the ministry had this year paid $1 350 335 to clear arrears with beneficiaries who had not been getting their stipends in the past two years, resulting in some students being stranded in foreign lands.

Zimbabwe has students in South Africa, Algeria, Egypt, Cyprus, Iran, Romania, Russia, Czech Republic, China and Cuba and Dr Mushohwe said he would institute measures to see the smooth and transparent operation of scholarships. “I think we require anything not less than $10 million if we were to send students to different universities,” said Dr Mushohwe.

“The issue depends on the budget and the budget was announced and it has not been operationalised. So once we are certain that there is a given amount that is dedicated to the scholarships then we say how many students can be covered.

“But I can give you the statistics of the students that are already there at the moment. Algeria for example, has 395 students, Russia has got 133, India 31, China 109, Czech Republic two, Iran four, Cuba nine students who are still there. Most of them graduated and came back last year. In Romania we have five, in Egypt we have seven, in Tunisia we still have 11 and in South African universities, we have reduced the intake from the 15 universities that we used to send students to only five universities now because of budgetary constraints and at those five universities we have got 382 students. We have three students in Cyprus who are doing high tech engineering and we are very happy.

“The total number of students that we have currently before the intake for this year is 1091 scattered all over. Soon we are going to start negotiations with bilateral countries through their embassies on the numbers that we might get from these countries I have indicated,” said Dr Mushohwe.

The former executive director of Presidential Scholarship scheme under the previous administration, explained that he “inherited” students who were originally housed under Higher and Tertiary Education which failed to pay stipends for “some for two years or so”.

“It is correct that some of them had not been paid. So, we have to date paid Russia. All students in Russia, who are 133, have been paid their stipends for the year 2017 and 2018. We are busy trying to organise that this week to send money to Cuba and Iran. In Iran there are only four and in Cuba they are nine. So by the end of next week (this week) they would have received their money. For students in other universities in Algeria, Tunisia, Czech Republic, Romania, India and Cyprus, we have deposited all the money that is supposed to go there through the embassies’ foreign affairs ministries.”

He added that students receiving their stipends would now be required to personally sign for their money and Government would receive a return of the signed schedule for transparency and accountability. Herald


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