The National Defence College is being built by the Chinese following the agreement between China and Zimbabwe of a $97 million loan meant for its construction.
Mugabe told the gathering at the National Sports stadium that the military college, which will be used as a centre for strategic military and intelligence studies, will be accorded university status.
“Currently the Zimbabwe Defence Forces are actively engaged in the construction of a National Defence College which, with a university status, is going to be the highest institution of academic and military instruction,” said Mugabe adding that the college is almost complete.
The $97 million dollar loan was signed by Finance Minister Tendai Biti on behalf of government on March 21 this year and bonds Zimbabwe to a 20-year deal of using Marange diamonds to pay off the loan.
The deal was however, met with mixed feelings from different sectors of the economy who hoped the money could have been invested into something productive, considering the harsh economic conditions that are currently prevailing in the country.
Under the arrangement, the Chinese provided Zimbabwe with a $97 million loan for the construction of the state-of-the-art defence college located on the outskirts of Harare.
Zimbabwe has undertaken to offset the loan using proceeds from diamond mining ventures involving the Chinese.
The Chinese will also provide specialist manpower for the project, although unions such as the Zimbabwe Construction and Allied Trades Workers’ Union (ZCATWU) say even some of the general labourers are being shipped from the Asian economic giant.