Mugabe upgrades Defence College to varsity
By Bridget Mananavire
President Robert Mugabe has upgraded the National Defence College to university status.
The institution, which remains under the Defence ministry’s ambit, is now Zimbabwe National Defence University, as proclaimed in Friday’s government gazette.
Established in October 2007 as Robert Mugabe National School of Intelligence, the learning institution trains members of the army, police and security agents from other southern African countries.
In Statutory Instrument (SI) 38 of 2017, Mugabe made the proclamation in terms of Section 110 (1) of the new Constitution.
“…now therefore under and virtue of the prerogative powers vested in the President as afore said, I, in the exercise of such powers in the sphere of defence and national security, do hereby…. declare that the Zimbabwe National Defence University be established…,” the proclamation read.
Critics allege Mugabe has increasingly relied on security forces to keep opponents in check in the face of growing anger over the unravelling economy, but he denies the charge.
According to the charter of the university, its mission is to “strategically develop, through research and multi-disciplinary programmes, patriotic individuals, institutions and communities who are alert and conscious in the face of national, regional and global challenges and threats and to act as a national think-tank for the great nation of Zimbabwe”.
The Defence College — an affiliate of the University of Zimbabwe — has so far held four graduation ceremonies, with 33 students graduating last year after completing the National Defence course. Daily News