Establishment of University of Mthwakazi on the cards

Establishment of University of Mthwakazi on the cards
Published: 07 July 2015 | by University of Mthwakazi


UNIVERSITY OF MTHWAKAZI (UM)

No 4 Lesley Meehan Terrace, Brookhill Close

Woolwich, London SE18 6FG, United Kingdom

No 42 St David Road, Upper Houghton

JohannesburgSouth Africa, 2000

17 Motlhamme Crescent, Unit 8, Mmabatho, 2735, South Africa

director@universityofmthwakazi.org

www.universityofmthwakazi.org

 

“Opening the doors of learning, educational capacity and research possibilities in the area of the economics of social problems for all marginalised communities in Africa”

 

1. Introduction

Navigating the sea of internal colonialism, genocide and ethnic cleansing with a specific focus on the Ndebele-speaking people of Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) in present-day Zimbabwe can be daunting. The University of Mthwakazi (UM) is a community independent educational institution which provides an opportunity for all the Ndebele-speaking people in present-day Zimbabwe and the  poor people in general across Africa without access to education to rebuild their educational careers paying particular attention to the economics of social problems: education, health, housing, transportation, environment, social care and the distribution of wealth, as well as to find the solution to their problems and defend their identity, culture, history and heritage as a united people.

The UM is concerned with the education, health and development of all the Ndebele-speaking people of Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) and the poor people across Africa without access to educational opportunities in established tertiary institutions. The UM is therefore dedicated to addressing the deliberate historical structural processes of marginalisation, genocide and ethnic cleansing in all economic sectors affecting the daily life experiences of the Ndebele-speaking people and the poor across Africa in general.

 

2. Why the University of Mthwakazi?

 

The question why represents the statement of the problem. The Ndebele-speaking people of Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) in present day Zimbabwe have been maimed, devastated, raped, silenced, marginalized and reduced to nothing in their country of birth, in full view of the world and regional communities for far too long. The duration (from 1980 to date) that the people of Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) have suffered, been humiliated and paid with their blood for daring not to support the ZANU-PF regime of Robert Gabriel Mugabe and its cronies is simply no longer acceptable.

 

During this period (spanning more than 35 years) the Ndebele people of Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) have not experienced any development at all. On the contrary, they have continued to be exposed to brutality by the ZANU-PF regime of Robert Gabriel Mugabe which since 1980 until today systematically embarked on a path of destroying the infrastructure that was left behind by the former European colonial regimes. Yet in spite of all this destruction, this brutal regime has continued to claim sovereignty and supremacy of final legal and political authority over the will of the people of Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) in present day Zimbabwe.

 

Today there is virtually nothing, resembling development and progress within the region of the Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country). There are no roads to talk about. The education and health system has long collapsed. The economy is non- existent. The rule of law is something that the people of this region have imagined and continued to dream about from the advent of settler European colonial regimes. Successive years of oppression have comprised a succession of deliberate measures aimed at denying the people of Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) their social, economic, political and cultural rights.

 

Any challenge to colonial boundaries at this time usually means either extending these boundaries by encroaching on neighbouring countries or bifurcating the existing unitary state into more than one new state. The pursuit of some form of a political structure that changes the form and structure of an existing unitary state is fraught with difficulties. In most instances, the groups that challenge the ruling regime usually arrive at such a juncture after genocide had been committed and demonstrable ethnic cleansing policies pursued by the ruling regimes, are seen and perceived to be inimical to the survival life chances of marginalised groups in areas such as language preservation, education, access to employment and contracts, distribution of land, and the like.

 

The pressure to re-arrange the unitary state invariably has been met with strong arm tactics from the former colonial powers, regional and the international community with vested interests. It is also met with plain rigid political thuggery from within the ruling regime of the country concerned that normally characterises long-serving dictatorships, aided by a compliant army and political party that is dependent on political patronage. However, for the of Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country), the post European colonial  years have been anything but daily contact with various forms of genocide, ethnic cleansing and various forms of internal  colonialism.

 

Given this continental scene where the people of Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) cannot access affordable education, these people, out of necessity to survive must address the following issues:

 

*      Why is it that a unitary system of government that the Treaty of Versailles (1884) imposed on Africa and subsequently bequeathed to us by our founders has suddenly become unpalatable?

*      Does democracy (defined to be individual choice, individual responsibility and rights of individuals) within a unitary state, ensure non-marginalisation of ethnic groups in accessing educational opportunities.

 

In Africa, democracy is simply "single-party-participatory democracy" whatever that means! Under this perverse view of democracy, only members of ruling parties, acting in accordance with strictly pre-determined guidelines issued by their political parties can enjoy some form of "democracy". This distorted view of democracy does not allow for dissent without severe and sometimes fatal consequences. Thus, the concept is akin to that of the rights of ruling regimes (closely related to authoritarian rights and yet so far from widely understood and clearly much more appealing view of democracy - individual choice, individual responsibility and rights embedded in the individual.

 

Furthermore, in Africa, just as in Zimbabwe, the difference between ruling political party rights and individual rights is that ethnic groups have no clear and unimpeded guaranteed avenues for redress against ruling regimes’ tyranny and genocide. For example, there many instances where the regimes that perpetrated genocide, ethnic cleansing and marginalisation against substantial communities were granted immunity against prosecution and all the prominent figures from such regimes subsequently won promotion for "thorough work" such as in present day Zimbabwe.

 

In many African countries, perpetrators of genocide can still be chosen by their fellow despots to be Chairman of the Africa Union (AU). One remembers only too well how Idi Amin, Jean-Bedel Bokassa, Arab Moi , Gaddafi and Robert Gabriel Mugabe, have all been elected to this post. The fact that the AU Charter had a clause prohibiting a member state from interfering in the internal affairs of another served all these despots well because they committed genocide, various other atrocities and ethnic cleansing on the poor with the full knowledge that other despots and dictators would never raise an objection. This says a lot about how far we have to strive to prevent those who have committed crimes against humanity from achieving the status of leading such a continental organisation as the AU.

 

The survivors of genocide and ethnic cleansing have no legal recourse in Zimbabwe (just as in most parts of Africa) for restitution claims for the loved ones butchered for no other reason other than belonging to different ethnic and language groupings. If the standards that were applied in the case of Bosnia and Rwanda were to be applied to similar cases across Africa, including Zimbabwe, most of the members of the ruling regimes would definitely be tried for crimes against humanity.

 

What Africans of goodwill and other peace-loving peoples of the world must inculcate is to spread educational opportunities to the marginalised communities throughout Africa in order to address the historical structural imbalances in the field of education created by European colonialism and subsequently sustained by the new ruling elite of the ruling regimes across Africa. The world community must also tie its foreign investment, aid and funding to NGOs to the prevention of genocide and ethnic cleansing by such regimes. The slaughter of citizens by one ethnic group should be prevented at all cost and under any contrived or stated reason.

 

3Perhaps it is important at this juncture to highlight how far the people of Africa have travelled since the Treaty of Versailles in 1884 that imposed a unitary system of government on Africa and subsequently bequeathed to us by our founders. Today, however, given the excesses of ethnic cleansing policies throughout Africa, there has been a systematic denial of education to the poor population by siege of their educational schools and institutions. As if to exacerbate this siege, the poor are also continuously being exposed to daily attacks and exclusion: from classrooms, bill boards, toilets, restaurants, post offices, work places, banks and virtually in every sphere of their daily lives.

 

Following independence, many regimes such as the ZANU-PF regime in Zimbabwe, have continuously pursued de-industrialisation policies for many other towns and cities in order to promote their own cities. The strategy has been to place people from their areas and ruling parties in place of those from the marginalised areas of Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) in government jobs, as heads of companies (where these ruling regimes using government funds have bought controlling interests). The net result has been a deliberate change in the composition of the population to ensure majority votes for their candidates in the near future. Those who survived the genocide and ethnic cleansing in Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) have since been forced to migrate across many countries in the world, including South Africa and thus create a vacuum that can be filled by a deliberate policy to import people from the areas of the ruling ZANU-PF regime of Robert Gabriel Mugabe as landholders under the various modes of farm confiscation programmes.

 

It is pivotal that the people of Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) penetrate the top government employment market both within and outside Zimbabwe.  Thus, it is not surprising that the Embassies of the Zimbabwe throughout the world are completely staffed by the personnel from the areas of the ZANU-PF regime. We state this not because it is new or out of the ordinary, but because it has gone on for so long to present a clear basis for this project, University of Mthwakazi. The marginalised Ndebele people of Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) are turbulently tired of being treated as third class citizens in an imposed colonial unitary system of government that has clearly become unpalatable.

 

The people of Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) just as all the marginalised communities throughout Africa have aspirations over the absolute control over education, culture and broadcasting, economic development and the whole issue of local government revenue-sharing with the central government. In addition, these people from the marginalised regions need clear, legally-binding rights to redo-revenue demands by the central government and any public expenditure reductions by the central government.

 

3. The Impact of the Treaty of Versailles of 1884 in present day Africa

 

Perhaps the greatest damage imposed on the Ndebele speaking people of Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) has been the systematic under investment in schools (primary, secondary) and much more critical in areas related to teaching of science subjects:  chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, information technology, and others. During the period of European de-colonisation in Zimbabwe, the ZANU-PF ruling regime of Robert Gabriel Mugabe built thousands of schools in the areas dominated by its so-called majority ethnic group but hardly any in the marginalised regions of Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) which as a matter of fact also comprise the imposed territorial boundaries of present day Zimbabwe. This genocide and ethnic cleansing in education policy has serious implications for the future of people of Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country). It reinforces discrimination against people from these marginalised regions in employment in the army, police, prisons and other government institutions on the basis that people from this region lack appropriate qualifications without an understanding of the ZANU-PF ruling regime’s genocide and ethnic cleansing policies;

 

*      The denial of students from Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) marginalised regions places at teacher training colleges while accepting ALL from the regions of the ruling ZANU-PF regime of Robert Gabriel Mugabe. This effect results in the training and deployment of more teachers from the regions of the ruling ZANU-PF regime into ALL marginalised Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) schools from Grade 0 to Form 6.

*      Importing civil servants into the marginalised regions of Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) from those of the ZANU-PF ruling regime of Robert Gabriel Mugabe to propagate their own languages at the expense of languages in the marginalised regions. This forces grandmothers and grandfathers in Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) to learn an oppressive language of the ruling ZANU-PF regime very late in their years. This is unacceptable as was teaching Soweto kids to learn Afrikaans in 1976.

 

*      Use of indigenous resources of marginalised Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) communities to develop those of the ruling ZANU-PF regime, and brutal of all, women and girls have been compelled through various mechanisms including rape to breed with ethnic groups of the ruling ZANU-PF regime of Robert Gabriel Mugabe and its cronies, such that for all historical and contemporary purposes they have conceived children through genocidal breeding.

 

4. Ethnic identities and Conflict

 

Unlike countries of Western Europe where nation states emerged as a result of the combination of the widespread feelings of belonging, the sharing of similar historical and cultural symbols as well as similar belief systems and common identities resulting in the formation of nation states, in Africa the situation has been completely different. In the case of Africa and many parts of the so-called Third World, nation states have been forcibly imposed by European colonialism without consent from subjects and without any due regard to ethnic/national, community, cultural, language and political identities and clear territorial demarcations.

 

Accordingly, there are four types of states bequeathed to the so-called Third World by former European colonial masters:

 

*      Those characterised by legitimate agreement and consensus between state and nation,

*      Those where the majority of the population perceive the state to be an imposter and distant,

*      Those whose different large ethnic/national groups have been compelled through use of force to belong to a particular imposed state territorial boundaries but do not feel strongly to belonging to that particular so-called nation, and

*      Those where smaller parts within a defined territory are seen as constituting a nation.

 

With decolonisation, nearly all the countries in Africa, with the exception of South Africa whose union that was founded in 1910 and subsequently endorsed by the African National Congress following its formation in 1912, embarked on processes of legitimising the imposed colonised boundaries and ‘nation building’. These processes of ‘nation building’ characterised by ‘state nationalism’ rather than ‘popular nationalism’ had a particularly very weak foundation in civil society as well as the cultural and political community.

 

It has been this lack of synergy between the imposed ‘state nations’ and different nationalities that has been responsible for conflicts between the imposed ‘state nations’ and their forced subjects or so-called citizens. Where these conflicts exist, resources are bound to be diverted to enforcing imposed territorial integrity at the expense of development initiatives. The imposed ‘state nation’ on the other hand is always perceived by its so-called ‘subjects’ as an illegitimate and alien institution.

 

5. Ethnic Identities and the formation of state nations in Africa

 

European labelling considerations abound regarding definitions, in particular of a nation. In the case of Europe, for example, the English, Welsh and the Scots in the United Kingdom are perceived as constituting nations. Yet, similar constituted populations in Africa with same attributes are labelled tribes. The variation in meanings can be seen as follows:

 

*      A nation comprises a strong widespread feeling of identity and solidarity within a political community which equally embodies a sense of wellbeing,

*      Nationalism is characterised by widespread positive and negative perception of other political communities, and

*      Several states in Africa lack indisputable legitimacy as they are forcibly constituted by more than one nation.

 

Integration and various state building processes of these nations within a particular ‘state nation’ in Africa have involved a combination of power and vigorous lethal force, aided by a civil and military bureaucracy bequeathed by the former European colonial rulers. The state security apparatus of these nations has been vigorously utilised in the political and economic development agenda as a way of forced state building exercises against marginalised communities.

 

The aims of so-called nation building within the ‘state nation’ framework have been to integrate different nations or political communities by force within a certain imposed territory. Within this exercise, the use of force has not been successful in enforcing to the targeted citizens or subjects a widespread feeling of belonging to that particular state nation. Put differently, in spite of all the genocide, ethnic cleansing, brutality and rape meted on the marginalised nations of Africa, the poor continue to struggle without any basic form and access to affordable educational opportunities.

 

This failure of the ‘state nation’ building exercise has been due to the fact that those nations who are forced to belong to a particular ‘state nation’ do not recognise this imposition of a political community, including the sovereignty and legitimacy of that particular ‘state nation’. The marginalised communities or populations of Africa have clearly not recognised the political communities which have been forced upon them by the ‘state nations’ of those countries.

 

There can be no doubt therefore, that the marginalised people of Africa are a suppressed people, who as a result demand full access to educational and health facilities. The characterisation of the marginalised people across African political community and nations derive from their long evolution with the following:

 

*      Common language and religious beliefs,

*      Organising and acting collectively against other groups or the ‘state nation’,

*      Common ideology, and

*      Common symbols and attributes.

 

In several countries in Africa, there can be no doubt that former European colonialism was systematically replaced by internal colonialism  that has been responsible for plunder of resources of other political communities, and the manipulation of international relations at the expense of the suppressed and brutalised nations within the imposed state nations’ territorial boundaries. Such plunder has been at the heart of violating the indisputable rights of these nations to decide on their own nation building vision and associated development priorities.

 

Biased development strategies in favour of the political community in power have exacerbated the plight of other national groups within the imposed colonial territorial boundaries of most contemporary ‘state nations’ in Africa. These strategies have met with international recognition at the expense of the marginalised nations. Given that these marginalised political communities or nations within the imposed ‘state nations’ are excluded from a proportionate share of political and economic resources, including the benefits accrued from the plundering exercise, there is bound to be vigorous opposition leading to direct demands for the establishment of separate states.

 

Within this context, authoritarian and hierarchical bureaucratic structures would be replaced by a people-managed development process that regards people as consisting of historic indigenous nationalities, nations, ethnic groupings or categories and not individuals or imposed state nations. Within such a scenario the real basic needs of the poor, rather than of the political community in power can be identified and fulfilled.

 

This would represent a significant fundamental shift embodying the downward and outward approach, instead of the top down and impenetrable approach that has been responsible for millions of miserable deaths as a result of genocide and ethnic cleansing policies inspired by European colonialism and subsequent internal colonialism of the postcolonial elites of present-day Africa. People-managed development that seeks to impact local and ethnic communities including their knowledge systems can only weaken the fearful authoritarian rule and open spaces for marginalised people and society to begin deepening democracy in a decisive and fundamental way.

 

6. The University of Mthwakazi

 

The project aim is to turn the University of Mthwakazi into a Centre for Freedom that is working for participatory democracy and people centred development in terms of the provision of quality education, health, housing, transportation, agriculture and food security, infrastructural development and investment, transportation and training for all throughout the width and breadth of the marginalised communities in Africa.

 

More importantly, it is clear that since Zimbabwe became so-called independent, marginalised people across Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) have suffered a great deal from the genocidal and ethnic cleansing policies of the ZANU-PF regime of Robert Gabriel Mugabe, including, deindustrialisation, lack of land access in their own areas, education, and side lined in current indigenisation programmes. It is therefore imperative that the University of Mthwakazi in cooperation and collaboration with all its stakeholders including those in the Diaspora and potential foreign investors examine a broader form of self-empowerment in their country of origin for the benefits of their children and grandchildren.

Below we outline some possible strategies that could be improved on and implemented, as a way of planning for economic development in the marginalised regions of Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) in spite of a hostile environment. Whatever one’s cause of departure from Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) for different destinations around the world, it is important to devise an economic development strategy that reflects the following principles:

 

*      No one in the marginalised regions of Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country), regardless of race, ethnic group, religion, gender, and political affiliation shall be dispossessed of tangible and intangible property without recourse to an independent judiciary;

 

*      White and black Africans throughout Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) who were forcibly divested of their properties under a multiplicity of the ruling ZANU-PF regime’s genocidal and ethnic cleansing policies should either get their properties back or obtain adequate compensation from thieves who stole their properties;

 

*      Locals must forcibly recover all land located near their traditional homes or areas from the ZANU-PF ruling regime which illegally obtained such land with connivance of local politicians. It is obscene that children within a local area have no furniture in their schools when timber is located in their areas. In other words, local communities must be seen to benefit from resources located in their areas. Similarly, people in and around coal producing areas must directly benefit from coal, methane gas and tin before people from elsewhere; and

 

*      Local stakeholders, marginalised (black and white) people from Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) and those in the Diaspora, and foreign investors should enter into partnerships in order to develop their own areas. Unlike in the areas of the ruling ZANU-PF regime where chiefs are appointed, Chiefs in Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) areas derive their history from time immemorial. Thus, local partnerships should work with Chiefs to exploit local resources for the benefit of local people while allowing foreign investors to repatriate profits to their preferred habitat. The current indigenisation programmes in present day Zimbabwe are inimical to the interests of marginalised people of Matebeleland (Mthwakazi country) and should be discontinued.

 

The University of Mthwakazi seeks to achieve broadly the following goals:

 

*      To promote the development of all the schools, colleges, adult literacy centres and ultimately the University of Mthwakazi and its associated educational syllabus and curricular activities,

*      Identification of economic activities to foster linkages and partnerships in order to address scarce skills gaps,

*      Ensuring an enabling environment for the widespread provision of quality education and training,

*      Promoting continuous technological research development,

*      Providing advice and promoting dialogue in respect to compliance with quality standards,

*      Establishing an environmental framework for strategic development upon which the cities of the region, can base their development policies, plans and programmes involving opportunities and constraints that the environment places on development,

*      Developing a set of guidelines and management principles to assist informed decision making to ensure development within sustainable limits,

*      Identifying sensitive areas in terms of how anticipated future investments would impact the cities of the region and their surrounding rural areas environmentally and socio-economically,

*      Assessment of environmentally possible alternatives for the development of residential, industrial, agricultural activities and infrastructure,

*      Facilitating career-pathing, guidance and counselling,

*      Facilitating marketing and advocacy of opportunities within the breadth and length of marginalised regions of Africa through the University of Mthwakazi, and

*      Addressing the critical scarcity and shortage of basic water by promoting and developing formidable irrigation projects along the lines of California and Israel which should also trigger industrialisation throughout Africa,

 

The key themes of the University of Mthwakazi include the following:

*      Promotion of quality education and rigorous development centred research,

*      Development of basic survival and IT based skills base throughout all marginalised areas of Matebeleland (Mthwwakazi country),

*      Capacity building, empowerment of all communities and information dissemination,

*      Poverty and inequities eradication through employment creation, and 

*      Provision of basic services (water, sanitation, refuse removal, electricity, roads and others),

 

7. Vision

 

To make the University of Mthwakazi, the socio-economic and people centred intellectual and academic hub, accessible and celebrating cultural diversity, by striving for sustainable development and service delivery, through public participation and optimal use of resources.

 

8. Mission Statement

 

To provide technical, professional and organisational skills in the field of education, primary agriculture, health, housing, local government and rural and urban development in terms of promoting civil society and influencing development policy and advocating for programmes that meet the needs of the poor in all the marginalised regions of Africa, and in particular, those that were negatively affected by the  dictatorial planning and brutal policies of the ruling regimes that have forever created, maintained and sustained economic inequalities.

 

9. Nature and Scope of Activities

 

There is a need to begin organizing workshops and conferences critically focusing on the rights of the citizens to access quality (not dictatorial based) education and training, the repeal of various pieces of legislation which continue to violate the rights of citizens and the crafting of new legislation on both local and national governance around fundamental issues as agriculture, food security, health, economic and infrastructural development and a whole range of developmental issues that ought to significantly impact development and transformation throughout Africa.

 

Manuals on education and training, including those around expanding the production base of literature in general and further development based research need to be produced urgently, in order to inform public policy debates throughout Africa. Such a process could influence behaviour as well stabilise the political environment throughout Africa, such that the direction that the countries take needs to be clear to all those with such responsibilities. This process could actually prepare and equip potential new legislators in the future with information regarding their responsibilities once in office, in terms of what is expected of them in moving away from the dictatorial tendencies which have characterised the ruling regimes throughout Africa.

 

The whole structure of African societies needs to be overhauled. It must change. For change to be realised it is the people who will be driving those change processes who must be engaged and thoroughly equipped on education and therefore, participatory democratic values and systems. This can only be achieved at the level of educational strategic planning workshops or conferences where all marginalised communities could benefit from the transfer knowledge and skills from the experts and facilitators. It is only through educational research and continued training that we can collectively achieve justice and development throughout Africa.

 

10. Values

*      A team tailored to the needs of marginalised communities, civil society and the poor throughout Africa,

*      A team tailored to narrowing the educational deficit, social change and social reconstruction,

*      An integrated approach, team work and team cohesion,

*      Consistency through variety,

*      Quality through diversity, and

*      Innovation through sharing.

 

11. Broad Objectives

 

*      To develop and strengthen progressive and sustainable education policy making and educational research capacity throughout Africa,

*      Advocacy building and lobbying,

*      Information sharing and networking,

*      Research and intellectual development

*      To contribute to the development of economic, reconstruction and development policies that ought to benefit all who live within the regions of Africa,

*      To foster public and stakeholder consultation and participation,

*      To foster cooperation and interaction between all educational training service providers and the creation of synergy between all at regional level throughout Africa,

*      To develop sustainable institutional, administrative and financial capacities of affiliated institutions,

*      To extend accessibility and availability of resources and information centres suitable for the communities,

*      To lobby for and promote the provision of Adult Basic Education and Training in terms of which mother tongue materials around income generation, tourism and eco-tourism, agriculture, culture, traditions and gender issues are developed,

*      To establish an interactive database to ensure adequate and appropriate training to employed and unemployed people in all the regions of Africa,

*      To obtain, compile and analyse data in order to develop related industry programmes,

*      To establish a research unit to provide and update information on technological skills,

*      To establish the body that will look into the quality compliance in line with acceptable quality standards,

*      To conduct skills audits for the purpose of multi-skilling and re-skilling,

*      To ensure the skills retention for sustainable development,

*      To formulate outreach programs to targeted marginalised groups in Africa, and

*      To link skills attained with the relevant industrial centres and projects.

 

12. Stakeholders

 

The University of Mthwakazi has formulated principles and values, which serve as a foundation on which all affiliated institutions shall subscribe. In addition a memorandum of understanding and a code of conduct shall be finalized. There shall be cornerstones of the coming together of all stakeholders into the University Centre. The major stakeholders include:

 

*      All the Ndebele-speaking people of Mthwakazi who have been systematically obliterated by the ZANU-PF regime and deliberately denied access to education and training,

*      All marginalised schools and colleges throughout  Mthwakazi country,

*      All the traditional historic institutions (represented by Chiefs) of Mthwakazi country,

*      All marginalised people across Africa, including the poor and unemployed,

*      All potential Investors of the world,

*      Students from marginalised communities all over Africa,

*      Staff Collective, with a multidisciplinary team comprising of specialist career natural sciences and social science teachers, lecturers, and researchers: educationalists, sociologists, development economists, and others,

*      The university board of directors and trustees,

*      Other established tertiary institutions and universities across the world with links to the (and partnerships with the)University of Mthwakazi,

*      Cooperative governments within the African continent , and

*      International, continental and inter-regional Non-Governmental Organisations.

 

13. Social/Demographic

 

*      There are approximately four (4) million Ndebele people who fled Zimbabwe into South Africa and hundreds of thousands more into neighbouring countries and elsewhere throughout the world, as well as hundreds of thousands of other ethnic groups who fled their countries throughout Africa,

*      The number of unemployed people throughout Africa, including  the 4 million displaced Ndebele-speaking people who fled into neighbouring countries, in particular, to Botswana and South Africa, 

*      There is a high number of HIV/AIDS sufferers in the whole of Africa, and

*      The available infrastructure bequeathed to Africa by former European colonialists has been destroyed and industries closed.

 

13.1 Economic

 

*      Closure of businesses, industries and confiscation of farms hence lack of food security,

*      Lack of access to other government services, especially education, health and housing throughout Africa, and

*      Lack of representation of local people in the main stream economic sectors of Africa, and

*      Hence the need for the University of Mthwakazi - Staff Collective, with a multidisciplinary team comprising of specialist project workers and researchers: lawyers, educationalists, sociologists, development economists, geographers, town planners, development planners, architects and organisational and administrative experts, to positively impact economic development transformation of the entire region.

 

 

 

13.2 Education and Training

 

*      Declining number of students attending educational institutions due to the economic meltdown and also, teachers have continued to leave to seek employment elsewhere in the neighbouring countries,

*      Restructuring and transformation of educational institutions affecting both students and staff in the area,

*      Absence of any viable labour market to absorb students with university degrees or diplomas,

*      Education and training not accessible to farm workers, and

*      Absence of any financial institutions that could provide loans for development projects and bursaries to students.

 

13.3 Technological

 

*      Lack of computers, printers and IT related gadgets, including the internet,

*      Lack of technical training in IT related gadgets,

*      Lack of access to Online educational opportunities,

*      Lots of people in the region with low level of computer and internet  literacy, and

*      Lack of access to computer and IT related training for people in the rural areas.

 

13.4 Physical Facility

 

*      Lack of accommodation facilities, e.g. hotels, guesthouses, etc.,

*      Poor road networks, e.g. all roads within the region and cities in a bad state of repair,

*      Lack of water pipe to draw water from the existing rivers, and

*      Severe economic meltdown.

 

14. SWOT Analysis

14.1 Strengths

 

*      Abundance/existence of tertiary institutions presently doing nothing,

*      Availability of infrastructure and facilities in bad state of repair that need to be upgraded,

*      Existence of inaccessible universities and colleges throughout Africa,

*      Availability of human resources expertise.

 

14.2 Weaknesses

 

*      Lack of educational opportunities to millions of marginalised people throughout Africa,

*      Lack of industries in the region for people to ply their trades,

*      Poor coordination of efforts of institutions,

*      Lack of recreational facilities,

*      High unemployment rates throughout Africa,

*      Insufficient conference facilities,

*      Poor inter-governmental partnerships,

*      Poor quality assurance centres, i.e. no evaluation and monitoring, and

*      Lack of water facilities and access.

 

14.3 Opportunities

 

*      The establishment of the University of Mthwakazi for all marginalised communities in Africa,

*      Geographic location favourable to the region,

*      Provision of E-Learning opportunities to students  wherever they are situated,

*      Access to solar and electricity energy sources in both rural and urban environments,

*      Collective identification of training needs, and

*      Possible change of existing political structure.

 

14.4 Threats

 

*      State sponsored violence,

*      High migration of skilled labour force/personnel,

*      Predominately poor population with high levels of illiteracy and dependency that affect productivity and ability to compete for jobs even if available,

*      Great inequalities between the rich ethnic groups and poor ethnic groups as well as disparities between urban and rural,

*      High rate of HIV/AIDS sufferers (students and workers) as a social and economic challenge,

*      Available resources that are unevenly distributed and that offer limited potential for improved delivery of services and growth, and

*      Possible refusal of current regime to leave office.

 

15. Critical Success Variables

 

For the University of Mthwakazi to meet its challenges and achieve the overall objective of promoting and turning Africa into a viable hub, it needs to do the following:

 

*      Develop solid staff complements with all the required skills and competencies,

*      Ensure the affiliated institutions are suitably equipped to render a superior quality of education and training and quality assurance,

*      The project is professionally managed and well organised,

*      There is consistent operational performance amongst all affiliated institutions, and

*      Education and training efforts are well coordinated and institutions complement each other.

 

Financial support covering all key activities of this university needs to be in place. Annual budgets need to be developed and funded adequately in line with expected activities. This university must ensure that it maintains effective control over strategic, financial, organisational and compliance issues. Performance must therefore be monitored on a monthly basis through reports, audits and an annual report. Financial discipline will enable this university to focus on initiatives aimed at accountability and improvements on performance, whilst working closely with affiliated institutions to achieve broader goals efficiently and effectively. The operating activities of this university shall be focused but not limited to:

 

*      Ensuring that all local institutions within Mthwakazi that are affiliated to the university must be made to work for (and benefit) the people to whom they ultimately belong,

*      Facilitating the upliftment of the communities in which it operates,

*      Attracting private sector investment into the region,

*      Establishing a blue print for the management and development of education and training,

*      Supporting and assisting in the marketing of local education and training institutions,

*      Facilitating the establishment and sustainable  infrastructural investment and logistics for an effective link between the Mthwakazi nation, regional human resources strategy and skills development strategies at various localities, and

*      Extending accessibility and availability of public learning centres throughout Mthwakazi country, including those spaces suitable for out of school youth and adults through E-Learning mechanisms and approaches.

 

16. Planning Assumptions

 

The University of Mthwakazi is a coordinating node for the activities of affiliated institutions:

 

*      The University of Mthwakazi takes ownership of the project to its logical conclusion,

*      All member institutions  and stakeholders will pay an annual membership fee to contribute towards sustaining the activities of the project,

*      Additional funding will be raised through active participation of all stakeholders,

*      The University of Mthwakazi as a community vehicle shall be developed in phases,

*      Annually, strategic planning sessions shall be conducted to take stock of achievements and to pave way for future activities,

*      That the University of Mthwakazi shall be autonomous from its stakeholders and will only report on a periodic basis,

*      That the board of directors shall be fully responsible and accountable for all the activities of the project, and that

*      The Trustees shall ensure adherence to financial discipline, transparency and accountability at all times.

 

17. University of Mthwakazi: Short Term Courses (Learning Programmes)

It is important to note that the method of delivering all the listed courses on Table 17.1 below, in the short to medium term, will be through ONLINE or (E-Education (electronic education mechanisms). Table 17.1 below provides a list (which is not at all exhaustive) of a number of short learning courses (programmes) that will be offered by the University of Mthwakazi through the mechanism of E-Learning (electronic  education) as soon as possible . The assessments of all these programmes will be through tests, examinations, assignments or practical tests in respect to each of the modules constituting the short courses/learning programmes. There will be a range of credits linked to attendance of courses /workshops by the students which shall not be less than forty (40) hours or less than twelve (12) credits based on South African Quality Assurance (SAQA) Unit Standards whether or not the time duration per course module/learning programme exceeds a minimum of forty (40) notional hours.

The credit structure per modules shall be determined by the level of difficulty and challenge of each course or learning programme. Only those students who successfully complete a short course/learning programme that equals the attendance duration of forty (40) notional hours or more, or equal to 12 SAQA based Unit Standards credits shall be awarded a Certificate of Competence.

Table 17.1: University of Mthwakazi - Short Term (Learning Programmes) Courses (6 months – 12 months -24 months)

CERTIFICATES/HIGHER EDUCATION TRAINING (HET)/FURTHER EDUCATION TRAINING/NATIONAL CERTIFICATE (VOCATIONAL)

*      Primary Agriculture

*      Water Systems, Distribution & Development

*      Primary Health/Occupational Health & Safety

*      Entrepreneurship Skills

*      Foundation Life Skills

*      Human Rights & Democracy

*      Early Childhood Development

*      Interpersonal and Public Communication Skills

*      Information Technology & Computer Science

*      Hospitality & Tourism

*      Geography/Geographical Information Systems for  Facilitators/Lecturers/Teachers

*      Office Administration

*      Finance, Economics & Accounting

*      Marketing & Business Management

*      Leadership and Management for FET Colleges

*      Human Resource Management/Human Resource Development Training

*      Computer Literacy/Advanced Computer Skills

*      Customer Care and Service Delivery Management

*      Project Management (Theory and Practice)

*      Advanced Strategic Project Management

*      Introduction to Data Analysis

*      Policy Development and Management For Local Authority/Public Sector

*      Desktop Publishing & Graphic Design

*      Material Design & Development

*      Supply Chain Management

*      Statistical Research Methods

*      Monitoring and Evaluation

*      Civil Engineering & Building Construction (levels N1-N6)

*      Engineering & Related Design (levels N1-N6)

*      Electrical Infrastructure Construction (levels N1-N6)

*      Mechanical/Electrical Engineering Studies (levels N1-N6)

*      Skills Programmes (Motor Mechanics - Community Development, etc.)

 

18.1 University of Mthwakazi: Long Term (Learning Programmes) Courses

Just as with the case of short term courses above, the method of delivery will be by ONLINE or E-Learning (Electronic Education). In addition, the list that Table 18.1highlights regarding the long term courses (learning programmes) is similarly not exhaustive.  Assessments are designed to immensely contribute to quality improvement relative to the quest to meet and fulfil the needs of the market place, in order to deepen and expand socio-economic development of society at large. In terms of which both students and facilitators/presenters are required to take personal responsibility regarding own high ethical norms, professional quality and standards in fulfilment of respective duties regarding all long terms courses (learning programmes). Continuous research, creativeness and innovation improvement shall be encouraged by the University of Mthwakazi and developed by means of providing ample training opportunities for both students and facilitators/presenters.

Consistency rather than standardisation shall at all times be promoted, paying attention to the concept of quality of  presentations (delivery of education/lectures) by facilitators/presenters and measured by efficiencies and effectiveness for each module deliverables to students/candidates in accordance to prescribed evaluation criteria. Satisfactory academic assessments shall be conducted in terms of written examinations, written assignments (course work) and examination in respect of each module constituting the long term learning programme/course.

Credits awarded shall be benchmarked against international academic standards and practice. Accreditation with established reputable universities shall constitute the significant benchmark for the diplomas, undergraduate degrees, and post graduate degrees right up to doctoral level (Ph.D.) awarded by the University of Mthwakazi, hence the importance of establishing partnerships. There will be a range of credits awarded per each course module over a period not less than one (1) year for the award of a diploma and equally not less than four (4) years for an undergraduate degree, and further, not less than two (2) years for the award of a Master degree and not less than three (3) years for a Ph.D.  A total of twenty 20 credits will therefore be used as a significant measure for the award of an undergraduate degree and less in accordance to the level of difficulty and challenge for the award of a diploma.

There shall be two options for the award of a Master degree which will either take the form of written examinations and a mini-dissertation, or full dissertation or thesis with oral (viva voce) examination after submission.  The doctorate in philosophy (Ph.D.) will be assessed in terms of a full thesis that pays attention to four (4) key elements of research at that level: background theory, focal theory, data theory and original contribution. Assessment shall therefore be in terms of an oral examination (viva voce). 

Table 18.1: University of Mthwakazi: Long Term (Learning Programmes) Courses (12 months – 48 months)

DIPLOMA/POSTGRADUTE DIPLOMAS/UNDERGRADUATE DEGREES/MASTER AND DOCTORAL DEGREES

*       Agriculture

*       Water Resources and Systems Development & Management

*       Transportation Systems & Development Management

*       Roads Infrastructure Investment Systems

*       Mining Development & Management Systems 

*       Environmental Sustainable Management Systems

*       Mathematics/Accounting

*       Business Economics

*       Financial Management

*       Education Leadership and Administration

*       Computing and Information Technology

*       Human Resource Management

*       Local Government Management

*       Public/Business Administration/Social Policy

*       Development Economics/Studies

*       Anthropology

*       Sociology and Criminology Studies

*       International Relations/Political Studies

*       Law and Ethics

*       Leadership and Management

*       Human Biology/Medical and Nursing Studies

*       Electrical/Computer Engineering

*       Architecture/Construction/Civil Engineering

*       Philosophy/Humanities/Arts/Drama/English Literature

*       Graphics/Information Systems and Social Media

*       Public Relations/Marketing /Advertising and Communication

*       Social Work/Counselling/Clinical Psychology

*       Hotel/Sports/Tourism and Recreation Management

*       Research dissertation/Independent Study with a specific focus on students’ area of choice under guidance and supervision

 

19. Organisational Information

 

The university organisational information is presented below in tabular below in table 19.1. This organisation (The University of Mthwakazi) intends to influence the initiation of a structured process of quality improvements at schools where the local secondary schools, colleges and the local universities are envisaged to play prominent roles in the future development of the regions. Until today, students from various marginalised regions could not access the local colleges and universities, because they came from secondary schools that were not equipped for the teaching of natural science subjects such as biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics.

 

This will now have to change for the better. In terms of the programme of action, this university will contribute in the identification and marketing of skills and lobby for the implementation of appropriate interventions. As can be seen from Table 19.1 below, the team of specialised university researchers will not only take the lead in the training of individuals on various aspects, but will also present a course for networking facilitators in the field educational development and expansion through the innovative delivery ONLINE mechanisms. This university will also facilitate the introduction of entrepreneurial and financial management training programmes for contractors and consulting engineers who undoubtedly will emerge in a post- dictatorial rule Mthwakazi, and beyond.

 

This University of Mthwakazi will also establish partnerships with the business sector and assist unemployed graduates, through the implementation of value-adding and processing skills development programmes. There are many other programmes that will be developed by this university, including the business and finance management skills development programmes, specialist agriculture and mines extension development programmes and the access to production and marketing skills programmes. It is important to note that the team of specialist university researchers possess the intellectual and practical experience in their respective fields to achieve efficient and effective results.

 

Below are the contact details for further information on the University of Mthwakazi (UM) and for any kind and generous support from individuals and organizations they may lend for the full establishment of the University.

 

Contact Details

Churchill Mpiyesizwe Guduza

director@universityofmthwakazi.org

www.universityofmthwakazi.org

chairperson@mthwakazifreedomproject.com

www.mthwakazifreedomproject.com

guduzachurchill@yahoo.co.uk

 

Jerold Sibanyoni

69 Leyswoood Drive

Newbury Park

Ilford

Essex IG2 7JL

United Kingdom

+44 742 763 4604

director@universityofmthwakazi.org

solo3Jer@yahoo.co.uk

 

 

 


- Source: UMReview/University of Mthwakazi

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