1640: Thank you for joining us. 

1636: Some students are now presenting their poem…

1633: The President has concluded his speech.

1632: The President reiterates that government envisages a middle income by 2030 and as such it is working on modalities to improve the lives of the people of Zimbabwe. “Last up to March 2018, the country’s per income was around US$900 and now it has jumped to US$1 011. The government will continue working towards the development of the country,” he says. 

1628: “Let us refrain from any violent acts and exercise peaceful campaigns. Let us remain as one people, we are united by our flag and together we are one people,” he says. 

1625: On elections, President Mnangagwa says the government is putting in place measures to make sure that the 2018 plebiscite set for the 30th of this month, are free, fair and credible. 

1623: The President says the government will comprehensively address the plights of students in tandem with the economic transformations.

1620: He says he challenged engineers to participate in the development of universities as they are the beneficiaries of these skilled personnel. “I checked the records of engineers and Russia has the highest number with 455 000, Ameria 350 000 and Vietnam which is the lowest has 1000 while Zimbabwe has only 600,” he says.

1617: The President says he challenged students to engage in research and development when he opened the first innovation hub in Zimbabwe at the Midlands State University.

1615: He says under the current dispensation everyone shall access the best skills required to develop our country. I know we are behind our neighbours due to economic sanctions which were imposed on us. “We now want to leapfrog and match them and in future outstrip them,” he says.

1614: The President says the country has opened itself to re-engagement, to have new friends and resuscitate the dying friendship(s).

1613: He challenges students to be innovative, hardworking and pragmatic.

1612: The President says universities should produce students that play an integral part in the development of the country adding that he is meeting with the captains of industry should contribute to the universities so that they produce the human capital they want, which is highly skilled.

1610: He urges the students to defend and uphold the national interests and integrity of the country.

1609: “As I have said I am a listening President, I have come to appreciate your frustrations and concerns be it on my facebook page, meetings or indabas like these so that together we can build the Zimbabwe we want,” he says.

1607: The President says the government will seat down with the private sector to see how best these issues can be solved. 

1604: He says there were brilliant innovations from university students from Chinhoyi University of Technology, Bindura, NUST and others at ZITF and as such the innovations will die because of lack of facilities, hence the government has introduced six innovation hubs for the incubation of those ideas for the development of the country. 

1600: The President says the students should be grateful for the facilities they have for their parents contributed much towards their construction 

1558: He says the government is developing a concept of having universities within universities, to create industrial hubs.

1557: President Mnangagwa says the government is set to leap frog and catch up with the best universities worldwide adding that plans are afoot to revamp the infrastructure and improve other services in the institutions of higher learning.  

1556: He says students should not be chased away from school as it against the government’s policy. “I am not saying do not pay school fees but the Zimdef is there to help students,” he says.

1551:The President is now giving his keynote address.

1543: Minister Bimha invites President Mnangagwa to the podium.

1541: He says the current students leadership is the cream of the revolution as it has a clear vision organised with genuine quest to create a better Zimbabwe’s adding the country will be in good hands. “It’s time to convert literacy to competences,” he says.

1540: Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Paul Mavima is now on the podium.

1534: Minister Murwira says six innovation hubs should be done in 6 months adding that in just six months, schools audit was done and the education system was developed.

1532: “Heritage based education should be the new thrust and use things around you to develop the nation,” he says.

1529: Professor Murwira says there’s need to change servant leadership mentality to leadership mentality. “We want youths and students to be creators of wealth through giving them education and skills,” he says.

1528: He says since independence, universities have been looking at teaching consultancy, innovation and industrialisation. He says higher education institutions should industrialise and establish university towns which create super students through modern infrastructure in education.

1523: In his remarks at the occasion, Prof Murwira says without students there is no ministry and that the institutions should not be bigger than the students.

1520: Higher and Tertiary education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira takes to the podium to respond to some of the issues raised by the students here at the HICC.

1515: He implored for Presidential scholarships inside Zimbabwe not just for external students.

1514: He says restoration of students voices is a must and institutions should listen.

1511: The ZICOSU president calls for consideration of establishing malls and bemoaned the meeting of devilish penalties and confiscation of IDs.

1508: He also exhorted government to provide hostel accommodation as some live in deplorable conditions because of shortage of accomodation with female students ending up being abused. Gambiza also spoke about lack proper infrastructure for students with disabilities.

1505: On Zimdef allowances, the ZICOSU president says they are too low urging government to deliver on its promises.

1503: Gambiza also calls for timeous payment of fees for those on social benefits from government saying some are thrown out for late payments.

1502: Teachers’ loans is another issue of concern. He says the issue of guarantors should not be enforced they borrow because they have no money and demands that government should be guarantor.

1459: The ZICOSU president expresses concern that students on teaching practice allowances have been slashed by half and that it should go back to $320. He says teachers in teaching colleges and those in universities should be treated the same and get allowances.

1456: He says institutions should be accountable for all fees they receive. “Full fees should not be paid by those who would have failed but that they should pay exam fees,” he says.

1455: Mr Gambiza says students are grateful for the reduction of attachment fees but expressed concern that some institutions are refusing to implement the 40 percent reduction on attachment fees.

1453: He says the students community is still smarting from the effects of decisions of the G40 Cabal.

1451: He expresses confidence that the President’s fate in the elections is sealed and the ruling party is poised for victory.

1449: In his opening remarks, ZICOSU president Takudzwa Gambiza pays tribute to President Mnangagwa for considering the inclusion of students voice in plans to rebuild Zimbabwe.

1445: Other ministers Chris Mushowe, David Parirenyatwa and Paul Mavima are in attendance as well as the Zanu PF Youth National Secretary Cde Pupurai Togarepi.

1442: Ministers Professor Amon Murwira, Kazembe kazembe, Dr Mike Bimha, Miriam Chikukwa, Chief secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda have accompanied the President.

1411: The Zimbabwe Congress of Students Union (ZICOSU) Secretary General takes to the podium and gives an opening prayer.

1407: Official proceedings begin here with the singing of the national anthem.

1405: The meeting is being held the theme: ‘Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Inclusion of Leaders of Tomorrow’.

1404: The President and Chancellor of all state universities, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa is meeting with students from vocational training centres, polytechnics and universities at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).