THE Midlands State University (MSU) has admitted that it is sustaining most of its operations from income generated from the late Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith’s Gwenoro Farm, where the institution is running a thriving farming business.
BY Stephen Chadenga
The university’s pro-vice-chancellor, Kadmiel Wekwete made the remarks last week challenging local authorities to be more innovative and come up with business strategies to generate additional income for their operations instead of relying on ratepayers’ money.
“Councils must also tap into income generating methods like those used by the Midlands State University to generate revenue,” he said at a three-day local economic development symposium held at MSU.
“MSU inherited Gwenoro Farm from the late former Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith and it has become a source of income that has gone a long way in sustaining the day to day operations of the university.”
The higher learning institution got the farm, about 45km outside Gweru, five years ago, under the land reform programme and is conducting various projects, which include cattle ranching with a herd of over 500 cattle, a citrus plantation and poultry project with 3 000 layers.
The farm also encloses Gweru City Council’s main supply dam Gwenhoro Dam.
Smith, who led white-ruled Rhodesia in the 1960s and 1970s, died in November 2007, Part of the 6 000-acre ranch was initially invaded by Zanu PF supporters at the height of the land invasions in 2000, before they were displaced by the university.