MIDLANDS State University (MSU) Vice Chancellor, Ngwabi Bhebe, is set to step down from the institution at the end of this year.
The university’s council chairman, Canaan Dube, is also leaving the institution before the end of this year.
Bhebhe and Dube were instrumental in the establishment of MSU, having been with the institution for close to two decades.
MSU has grown in leaps and bounds since its first enrolment in 1999 and now boasts of a total enrolment of nearly 23 000 students.
“I wish to take this opportunity to inform you, our valued stakeholders, that both the vice chancellor and I, have served this institution for over 17 years, and as such it is time to take leave during the course of this year,” Dube told an inter-stakeholders interface meeting recently.
“We believe we have fought a good fight and this is thus far the Lord has taken us. The vice chancellor’s contract expires on November 30, while I will step down on October 30 and at this point we want to set it on record that we do not wish to renew our contracts,” said Dube.
MSU started in 1999 with 400 students and has grown to become the largest university in the country in terms of enrolment.
At inception, part of their strategic goal was to build an institution with 10 faculties.
Bhebe obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Geography from the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland (UBLS)in 1967.
He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Imperial History from the University of London in 1972.
A celebrated historian, Bhebe’s academic employment dates back to 1974 when he lectured history at Faurah Bay College in Sierra Leone, and later at UBLS as well as at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) from 1982.
He served as a Professor of History at the University of Zimbabwe from 1988 to 1999, and also as external examiner at the universities of Botswana, Malawi and Zambia.
Bhebe is a researcher who has published extensively and has to his name several books as well as articles in internationally refereed journals.
Bhebe is also a seasoned university administrator who has gone through the mill, serving as chairperson of the UZ’s History Department from 1989 to 1992, as well as of the Research Board from 1984 to 1991.
He also served as Senior Proctor and ultimately Pro Vice Chancellor of the same university from 1992 to 1995. In 1999, Bhebe was appointed founder Vice Chancellor of MSU.
At MSU, he has established nine faculties and decentralised its services by opening up campuses in Harare, Mutare and more recently in Zvishavane, where it houses the Faculties of Arts and Mining Sciences.
The institution is in the process of setting up a medical school which should enrol its first batch of students during the second semester of this year.
Dube is a senior partner and one of the founding members of law firm, Dube, Manikai and Hwacha.
He has been in practice for 32 years and has an illustrious legal career which originates in the public law sphere.
He was the first black public prosecutor in the Attorney General’s office after independence in 1980.
In this post, Dube worked in the State Attorney’s office and gave advice and litigated on a range of government mandates.
A highlight of his time in the Attorney General’s office, was his role as lead attorney and advisor on the funding arrangements and agreements leading to the construction of the National Sports Stadium.
Pursuant to his time at the Attorney General’s office, Dube worked and was a partner at Kantor & Immerman for 13 years until 1998 when he left the firm and co-founded DMH.
Under his leadership DMH has grown from a four to a 10-member partnership.
Dube heads the Trade and Investment Unit, a unit that renders advice to regional and foreign investors on all issues pertaining to investment in Zimbabwe.
His unit offers critical advice to foreign investors related to a broad spectrum of investment issues including, Zimbabwe Investment Authority registration, indigenisation laws and compliance including the preparation of indigenisation plans,( in this regard Dube has been instrumental and influential in proposing and tabling indigenisation plans with the Ministry of Indigenisation that meet the local law requirements while safeguarding investor interests), and general investments advice which includes the drafting and review of agreements, exchange control advice and assistance in the application and protection of mining rights.
He also sits on several boards among them; Delta Beverages Limited (non-executive chairman); Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe Limited (non-executive director and chairman of the loans review committee at Edgars Stores Limited, among others. — Own Correspondent
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