Plumtree whizkid received a scholarship last year: Minister

The Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry and Bulilima East Member of Parliament Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu has revealed that the 20-year-old Plumtree whizkid who attained 20 points at A-level received a scholarship under the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZIMDEF) last year and he is enrolled with National University of Science and Technology (NUST). 

Vumani Moyo from Khame Village in Plumtree had approached CITE last week appealing financial assistance to further his studies. 

CITE gathered that Vumani had on the same day received calls from the Minister telling him that his tuition fees had been paid. 

Contacted for a comment, Minister Ndlovu indicated that he facilitated Vumani’s scholarship last year. 

“For me, it came as a surprise, Vumani got his scholarship last year and we were very excited about his grade and I think about two or three weeks after he got his results, we had SDG summit in Victoria Falls, I facilitated for that boy to go to Vic falls just to expose him,” said Minister Ndlovu. 

He said while in Victoria Falls, he introduced Vumani to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Amon Murwira who said his fees would be paid. 

“It was now a process of applying and getting the admission, the Vice-Chancellor at National University of Science and Technology (NUST) was also there, the Minister begged him to reserve a place for Vumani as he was going to apply for actuarial science, and he promised to ensure that he gets his fees paid,” said Ndlovu. 

“He got the place, but unfortunately they gave him banking or risk management between the two, he told me and I spoke to the Vice-Chancellor telling him that he did not get what he wanted. I was even with the professor calling the Vice-Chancellor telling him that if they don’t get Vumani the place, he will have him apply at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ).” 

He said his program was changed and he got the ZIMDEF scholarship which has a facility to assist underprivileged children under the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary education. 

“So, what happened is that there was a gap between opening of schools and the actual payment because there are many children in rural areas who will be requesting for extensions due to issues of network, things like that. In November last year, Vumani’s fees were paid for the entire program to tuition and accommodation,” said the Minister. 

Minister Ndlovu added that Vumani missed two in-classes prompting him to defer. 

“I met the chairperson of his program around February telling me that he has failed to deal with Vumani. He told me that he was begging him not to defer due to the two or three tests he missed, he asked him if he has spoken with those lecturers because they would have no problem with him writing his exams since it’s a course work but Vumani said it was better for him to start next year (2021) with others,” he said. 

“The Chairperson told him to write a letter to him so that he reserves his place so that he doesn’t have to reapply, so he got a letter confirming that he deferred. Vumani  knows that his school fees is fully paid until his final year including accommodation, all he has to do is to look for food only,” said Ndlovu. 

Ndlovu however said that he is aware that Vumani’s desire is to study abroad. 

“Interestingly, when he said his parents are not employed, his father we contested each other in the 2018 elections, he has been in politics forever, he works in South Africa, I know him very well he is Vincent Mabikwa Moyo, I told him that parading his father as very poor is not necessary,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Vumani also indicated that he indeed received the scholarship last year but they could not send him proof of payment. 

He however said he is going to be starting school in August as some people have also come forward to assist him with food as well. 

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