Masvingo Provincial Development Coordinator Dr Jefter Sakupwanya has extended his unwavering support and welcomed the Midlands State University’s(MSU) premier research unit; the Tugwi Mukosi Multi-disciplinary Research Unit’s intended move to set up infrastructure in the vicinity of the Tugwi-Mukosi dam in support of the national development drive centred around the country’s largest inland water body.
He said this during a meeting with representatives of Masvingo’s Provincial Development’s Office and the MSU Zvishavane Campus team last Thursday.
“I want to assure MSU that we are very committed to supporting the rollout of the concept. I can boldly say that the ball is in MSU’s court.
“This is the sort of proactive approach to development that we are looking for. The MSU is very welcome and that will greatly benefit our province and the knowledge generated from that centre will help improve agricultural practices in the province and also in the nation at large”.
MSU is mulling a move to establish a research and learning centre close to the Tugwi-Mukosi dam to use research and knowledge generation to support the government’s goal to optimally exploit this mega-water body in Chivi-South in Masvingo Province.
“We are ready to support. We have line ministries who are keen to provide the necessary support that is required such as roads; we have Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZIWNA), Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), which are ready to support the rollout,” he said.
With a holding capacity of 1.8 billion cubic metres of water, the Tugwi Mukosi dam has the capacity to turn around the fortunes of the economy if it is commercially exploited.
“We are interested in the using of that asset that the government invested in and the uplifting of the livelihoods of poor communities in that part of the province.
“I could tell from the presentation from MSU that they share that vision of also uplifting the livelihoods of poor communities through this idea,” Dr Sakupwanya added.
Tugwi-Mukosi Multi-disciplinary Research Institute Executive Director Professor Jephias Matunhu said that the MSU is all set to move into the dam area and actively participate in bettering the local communities and contributing to both national and international development.
“Our hope is to be able to get to communities around the dam and participate in the social-economic goals of our nation and support the full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals as enunciated by the United Nations.
“We also want to produce goods and services that help local and international communities. Our hope is to complement government and various stakeholders in leaping forward our economy to the future we all want and aspire. A future that makes us a better people,” he said.
MSU intends to complete phase one of the infrastructural development of a state-of-the-art research institute in the area by March 2022. This will include the construction of an administration block, a laboratory, and a staff residence unit.