The Brethren in Christ Church (BICC) plans to open a university, Matopo University, in Mtshabezi, Gwanda District, Matabeleland South Province.
This will bring to three the number of universities in the largely rural province.
Already there is Gwanda State University (GSU) and Solusi University in Bulilima District.
Matopo University plans to open its doors in August with an initial enrolment of 400 students.
The university will operate from the church’s Mtshabezi Mission Bible College.
University of Matopo Trust (UMT) chairperson Professor Henry Sibanda said the idea was mooted more than four decades ago.
UMT needs to raise a minimum of US$30 000 required for Matopo University to be registered under the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE).
In an interview with State media, Prof Sibanda said they intend to raise the money during this weekend’s church service.
Prof Sibanda said BICC has vast tracts of land in the Matabeleland region.
He said their plan is to have the faculties spread across three of their institutions, which are Mtshabezi, Wanezi and Matopo Missions. Said Prof Sibanda:
Each of these missions will take certain faculties. The idea is to open the university to students by either July or August this year.
We have a bible institute at Mtshabezi, our largest mission station, which established in 1906 and can take up to 400 students.
The church has got four high schools that is Mtshabezi, Wanezi, and Matopo, all in Matabeleland South as well as Pumula Mission in Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North, which all have A-Level classes.
He said they decided the name the university “Matopo University” for sentimental and historical reasons because Matopo is the oldest of the church’s four missions. | Chronicle