GOVERNMENT has pledged to support the Midlands State University (MSU) in its quest to establish a research and learning centre close to Tugwi-Mukosi Dam in Chivi, Masvingo province.

The university plans to set up a Tugwi-Mukosi multi-disciplinary research unit near the dam.

Masvingo provincial development co-ordinator Jefter Sakupwanya told Southern Eye that they were committed to supporting the rollout of the research concept.

“The ball is now in MSU’s court. This is the sort of proactive approach to development that we are looking for.

“The MSU is welcome, and that will greatly benefit our province.  The knowledge generated from that centre will help improve agricultural practices in the province and nation at large,” Sakupwanya said.

“We are ready to support. We have line ministries who are keen to provide the necessary support that is required such as the roads.

“We have the Zimbabwe National Water Authority and Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, which are ready to support the programme.”

Sakupwanya said the research would uplift the livelihoods of communities in the province.

“I could tell from the presentation by MSU that they share that vision of also uplifting the livelihoods of poor communities through this idea,” he said.

Tugwi-Mukosi Multi-disciplinary Research Institute executive director Jephias Matunhu said the MSU was ready to move into the dam area and begin its research to improve local communities that are contributing to national and international development.

“Our hope is to be able to get to communities around the dam and participate in the social-economic goals of our nation.

“We also want to support the full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals as enunciated by the United Nations.

“We also want to produce goods and services that help local and international communities.

“Our hope is to complement the government and various stakeholders in leaping forward our economy to the future we all want and aspire for, and a future that makes us a better people,” he said.

MSU intends to complete phase one of the infrastructural development of a state-of-the-art research institute in the area by March 2022.

This will include the construction of an administration block, a laboratory, and staff residence.