Youths should take education seriously and shun social vices that hinder them from attaining higher positions in life, Vice-President Joice Mujuru has said.
VP Mujuru said the only tool that could empower any person for the challenges ahead was education.
She made the remarks in Harare yesterday while presenting bursaries to two Form One pupils from Watershed College in Marondera and Goldridge College in Kwekwe.
VP Mujuru pledged the bursaries last year after learning of Kudzwaishe Chisveto and Ropafadzo Ngwerume's educational capabilities while they were still at Eiffel Flats Primary School.
"Ndakaita Vice-President nekugona kupfura muhondo, naizvozvo imi sevana vedu tinoda kuti muchiita basa rekupfura mabhuku chete chete," she said.
"As youths and being girl children, you can make good use of this opportunity given to you in a free Zimbabwe, and be at the top of the educational ladder. This means that our future as Zimbabwe is bright."
Discipline, VP Mujuru said, was important in moulding focused youths.
"During the liberation struggle we did not have parents to send us to school. We only studied after war, but it was a difficult situation even though we excelled," she said.
"But you are being presented with an opportunity to study and as such I will be monitoring very closely how you will be performing at school. I do not want to hear any stories of bad behaviour. Remain focused because you are our future leaders."
VP Mujuru said the girl child should be supported as she was contributing immensely to the development of the nation. Government, she said, had given an opportunity to a number of them to steer the affairs of the nation.
"You are our future women leaders and we will continue giving you the necessary support," she said.
VP Mujuru also presented two laptops to the pupils, saying they would assist them in embracing information technology.
VP Mujuru thanked businessman Mr Dexter Nduna for initiating the bursary scheme.
"I only learnt about your educational prowess through Mr Nduna who had built a hostel at Eiffel Flats in honour of his two children Makomborero and Nqobile who died in a car accident," she said.
Mrs Jane Ngwerume, mother to Ropafadzo, said the family felt honoured following VP Mujuru's gesture.
"We are happy she has remembered us. We never thought that as a politician, the Vice-President would fulfil this. Fees for the first term have been paid and we thank her for dedicating her time to meet the kids and their families," she said.
Mr Paul Chisveto added: "We are proud of what we have achieved and we also thank the VP for extending her hand to us. She has a tight schedule but she accommodated us and the ball is now in our court to encourage the children to excel in their school work."