CUT in multi-million dollar building project

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Plans are at an advanced stage to construct a state-of-the art-multi-million dollar Institute of Materials Science, Processing Technology and Engineering at the Chinhoyi University of Technology. CUT Vice Chancellor Professor David Simbi, recently appraised President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the college’s 13th graduation ceremony a fortnight ago that the completion of the project will see the country being able to process its mineral resources.

“A major project currently under consideration is the construction of the Institute of Materials Science, Processing Technology and Engineering. Its successful completion will not see the country being only able to process its mineral resources, but turn them into useful construction entities for a number of technology and engineering applications,” he said.

The university has embarked on various construction projects and property acquisition for it to meet its mandate of being a technology, innovation and entrepreneurship university. In e-mailed responses recently the university’s director of marketing and public relations, Dr Musekiwa Tapera, said the university has embarked on huge construction projects, which include the Engineering Complex, Dean’s block and a number of laboratories.

Said Dr Tapera: “Building materials are now in place to start the construction of the Institute. It is the vision of the institution that these projects will enhance its capacity to provide learning and leading space for its students as well as space for laboratories and workshops, which are critical drivers for technology and engineering education.

“The university is also working with the Infrastructural Development Bank of Zimbabwe in the construction of student hostels in view of the fact that there is an accommodation crisis in universities across the country. In all these projects, CUT is partly relying on its own resources and savings as a growth and development strategy. It has also established the Pro Vice-Chancellors office responsible for Business Development and Resources Mobilisation with a specific responsibility to mobilise resources and create a business culture in the entire institution,” said Dr Tapera.

He said the university has embarked on fundraising programmes, some of which have seen funds being injected into these construction projects. He said CUT is working with development partners such as IDBZ and other commercial banks on Build Operate Transfer schemes.

“CUT has been purchasing properties in and around Chinhoyi a few years ago resulting in the acquisition of Orange Groove Motel, Dilmitris building in town, the Shankuru Postgraduate Centre and houses in Chinhoyi and Alaska. Recently, CUT acquired the Kariba Country Club, which will be used as a School of Hospitality and Tourism Recreation Centre and Research Centre for aquatics, conservation and ecology research. The university also acquired a huge property along Boabab Avenue for the accommodation of its scholars and researchers,” he said.

Dr Tapera said the institution desires to play its part in reviving Kariba as a prime tourist destination and transform it into a modern fisheries hub through research. The university is also eyeing expansion into Kadoma in its quest to have a multi-campus approach in tandem with its 2016 -2020 strategic plan. The university established its own building brigade that has assisted the institution in the construction of six houses for senior staff such as Professors and other senior academics.–herald

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