In a remarkable display of academic excellence and national development, President Emmerson Mnangagwa today presided over the 21st graduation ceremony at the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU), where a staggering 3,616 students were capped.
The ceremony, held at the university's main campus in Harare, marked a significant milestone under the theme “Heritage-based Education 5.0 for Inclusive Human Capital Development: Towards Vision 2030.”
This year's ceremony was especially noteworthy for its gender balance, with 2,316 female graduates and 1,300 male graduates, reflecting ZOU's commitment to inclusive education.
Among the proud graduands were two traditional chiefs: Chief Ngungumbane (Zama Nthua Mkwananzi) of the Midlands Province and Chief Nechombo (Langton Chikukwa) of Makaha, Mashonaland East Province, showcasing the university's diverse student body.
Chief Ngungumbane achieved a remarkable feat by earning a Doctor of Philosophy in Peace and Governance.
His thesis, titled 'The Impact of Dual Governance on the Roles of Traditional Leaders in Matabeleland South Province, Zimbabwe,' addresses critical issues in governance and traditional leadership.
In line with the Second Republic’s philosophy of leaving no one and no place behind, the ceremony was also marked by the graduation of Pritchard Naison Zimondi, a detainee from the Prison and Correctional Services who obtained a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Development Studies.
This achievement exemplifies ZOU's commitment to providing educational opportunities to all sections of society.
A highlight of the ceremony was Chiromba Ronald Kudzanai, who graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting Honours degree.
Not only did he earn his degree with first-class honours, but he was also named the Overall Best Male Student, receiving "The Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa Chancellor's Award" and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) Prize Money and trophy.
Kudzanai expressed his joy and readiness to contribute to the nation's development, stating, "This achievement is not just for me but for the entire nation. I am ready to use my knowledge and skills for the betterment of our country."
As ZOU continues to expand its horizons, the university is currently constructing its main campus in Hatcliffe, with significant progress already being made on the site.
Furthermore, the university is set to launch its campus radio station early next year, an initiative that will further enhance its educational and community outreach programmes.
Today's graduation ceremony at ZOU not only celebrated the academic achievements of its students but also underscored the institution's role in shaping Zimbabwe's future through inclusive and innovative education.