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Zimbabwe: President Arrives in SA

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Friday, May 20th, 2016
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President Mugabe arrived here yesterday to attend Fort Hare University centenary celebrations set for today, where students at the university were protesting demanding that President Mugabe should address them and not the host President Jacob Zuma.

President Mugabe arrived at East London Airport where he was welcomed by South African Minister in The Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr Jeff Radebe and Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to South Africa, Ambassador Isaac Moyo.

He inspected a guard of honour mounted for him before being whisked away to his hotel.

The Fort Hare centenary celebrations were marred by students protest on Wednesday night, with the students going on a rampage burning tyres outside the campus after they claimed that management had failed to meet their demands.

One of the main demands was that students who were not resident on campus should receive their accommodation and transport allowance before the end of the first semester.

Another demand was that all first-year students who applied and qualified for National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding should have signed the loan agreement forms by yesterday.

Some of the students took their protest to the social media and threatened to disrupt President Zuma’s speech.

Tsodiyo (@tokelonhlapo) posted: “Fort Hare students say they will disrupt Zuma from speaking’ only (President) Mugabe will speak because Bob is a graduate.”

President Mugabe is in South Africa following an invitation extended to him by South Africa Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Mpakama Mbete, to attend the Fort Hare University centenary celebrations lastmonth.

President Mugabe who is accompanied by Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Dr Chris Mushohwe and senior Government official is an alumni of the university.

The historic university, which opened its doors in February 1916 and based in Alice in the Eastern Cape, has produced illustrious alumni in the country and Southern Africa.

The alumni of the institution include the continent’s greatest leaders, such as the world’s most educated President, President Mugabe, the late Zanu chairman, Advocate Herbert Chitepo, the late founding father of the then Organisation of African Unity (now African Union) and former Tanzanian President, President Julius Nyerere, the late founding South AfricaPresident, President Nelson Mandela, the late President Sir Seretse Khama of Botswana, Zambia’s founding father, Drs Kenneth Kaunda, late ANC president, Mr Oliver Tambo and the late Prime Minister of Lesotho, Ntsu Mothetle among others.

President Mugabe graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and English at Fort Hare University in 1951. He has since established a Presidential Scholarship which has seen thousands of disadvantaged children from across the country studying for various programmes at the university.

President Jacob Zuma has since established an Inter-Ministerial Planning Committee headed by the Minister in the Presidency, Mr Jeff Radebe, tasked with ensuring a memorable and befitting centenary celebration.

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