EMMERSON Mnangagwa jetted into Bulawayo yesterday and is today expected to preside over the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) 26th graduation ceremony and later on meet chiefs from the Matabeleland region.
Mnangagwa landed in Bulawayo yesterday evening and he was welcomed by Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Judith Ncube, service chiefs, senior Government officials and Zanu-PF leaders in the province.
As part of his programme in the city, he will be at Nust in the morning where the graduation ceremony will be blended. Only those graduating with first class degree classes have been invited to attend the ceremony and the rest will attend virtually as it will be live streamed on the Nust Facebook and YouTube channel.
After the Nust graduation ceremony, Mnangagwa will meet chiefs to discuss issues affecting the Matabeleland region and also tour the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) museum.
Tomorrow, Mnangagwa will be the chief witness at Ntabazinduna Training School during the hand-over take-over ceremony following the retirement of Retired Major-General Paradzai Zimondi, after 22 years at the helm of the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS).
Rtd Maj-Gen Zimondi will hand over the reins to Deputy Commissioner-General Moses Chihobvu, who was promoted to Commissioner-General with effect from 1 November. Dep Comm-Gen Chihobvu has been Acting Commissioner-General since Rtd Maj-Gen Zimondi went on three months pre-retirement leave and his promotion as substantive head will take effect after Comm-Gen Zimondi formally retires.
Bulawayo provincial information officer Ms Miriam Chigonde said Mnangagwa will start with the Nust graduation before moving to other programmes.
“The President is in Bulawayo today (yesterday) and is expected to preside over the Nust graduation ceremony before proceeding to the NRZ where he will conduct a tour. The museum holds the oldest trains that were used during the colonial era,” said Ms Chigonde.
“From there he is expected to meet traditional leaders to continue his engagements on Gukurahundi and the development of the two Matabeleland provinces.”
With regards to the meeting with chiefs, President of the Chiefs Council Chief Charumbira said the engagement will be held at State House.
“From time to time the President meets with chiefs from various regions, you might be aware that he was in Manicaland Province weeks ago, now he is coming to that part of the country. He will be meeting with chiefs from Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South provinces” he said.
Mnangagwa has in the past engaged chiefs from Matabeleland on how Government could best tackle the Gukurahundi issue to come up with permanent solutions.
Nust director of communication and marketing Mr Thabani Mpofu said the blended graduation ceremony will start at 8.30AM.
“This year’s edition of the graduation will be a bit different as we only invited First Class graduands to attend the physical ceremony.
“We have a total of 2 528 graduands and those not invited to attend physically will access the ceremony through our Facebook and YouTube pages, and on ZBCtv,” said Mr Mpofu.
“In the light of the Covid-19 pandemic and in line with WHO guidelines and Government regulations, the 2020 Graduation will mainly be virtual, with selected graduands being capped physically at the Ceremonial Hall.”
He added that selected Master of Science graduands with distinctions from various faculties will also attend the physical graduation ceremony.
Nust has seven faculties which include Applied Sciences, Built Environment, Communication and Information Science; Medicine, Engineering, Science and Technology Education.
“All invited graduands must be in full graduation regalia: a gown, cap and hood, and also wear a face mask.
“The rest of the graduands will join online and participate in the graduation from the comfort of their homes. The ceremony will be live-streamed on ZTV.”