Defence College granted university status
Extract from the Herald of 6 March 2017.
Former President Mugabe issued a proclamation announcing that the National Defence College (NDC) will now be a fully-fledged national university called the Zimbabwe National Defence University. During that time President Mugabe was the Chancellor of the university. The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces made the announcement in a Statutory Instrument published in the Government Gazette.
The declaration was made under Section 110 (1) of the national Constitution which reads:
“The President has the powers conferred by this Constitution and by any Act of Parliament or other law, including the common law relating to the prerogative powers of the President.”
President Mugabe said the university will be the nation’s defence and security hub, fostering integrative and conscious nation building.
“Now, therefore, under and by virtue of the prerogative powers vested in the President as aforesaid, I, in the exercise of such powers in the sphere of defence and national security, do hereby (a) declare that the Zimbabwe National Defence University be established and (b) set out in the schedule hereto the terms of the Charter which l have granted to the said University,” he said.
The NDC Courses are attended by senior officials from the Zimbabwe National Army, Air Force of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services, the President’s department and senior officials from other sectors to sharpen their skills in defence and national security strategy formulation.
The university, President Mugabe said, will be mandated to be the leading national defence and security institution grounded in Zimbabwean national interests and values.
He said it will also provide quality programmes fostering continuous research and innovation to respond comprehensively to challenges within the realm of the global defence and security matrix.
“Its mission will be 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,” said President Mugabe.
“It will nurture and preserve the spirit of unity and patriotism in pursuit of the sustainable moral, social and economic growth of the nation of Zimbabwe.
“It will provide higher education and training in national policy and strategy formulation for military and civilian leaders to better address national and international security challenges.”
The Vice-Chancellor and Commandant, President Mugabe said, will be appointed by him after consultations with the University Council, the Defence Forces Service Commission and the responsible Minister.
He said the process of considering the appointments shall begin by interviews of applicants by a joint committee of the University Council and the Senate in order to choose the successful candidate.
President Mugabe said the university will also inculcate excellence in research, innovation, geopolitical economies, training and leadership developments, and to input into the Zimbabwe National Security Council outcomes of research on issues of national defence and security.
Last year, when steering the NDC Bill in the National Assembly, Defence Minister Dr Sydney Sekeramayi said the establishment of national defence universities was not peculiar to Zimbabwe, but an international trend where they were established as military institutions with civilian and military staff complements, but wholly administered by the military.