The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: President Meets Precious Blood Nuns

Eighteen Roman Catholic nuns from the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood yesterday paid a courtesy call on President Mugabe to thank him for his contribution in the construction of Sacred Heart Girls High School in Esigodini.

Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood is a grouping of nuns from different countries in Zimbabwe.

Sacred Girls High School, which is still under construction, opened its doors in January this year.

The First Family donated a perimeter fence and financed the construction of a modern-design dormitory to the tune of US$460 000.

Speaking after meeting President Mugabe at State House in Harare, leader of the delegation Sister Maria Veronica Dingi said they shared successes and challenges in the education sector.

"We wanted to say thank you to the President. He donated a hostel for one of our schools that is Sacred High School and we also wanted to discuss with him as stakeholders in the education sector," she said.

"We wanted to share with him our joys, vision and challenges in the field of education. Our school is a new school and we have challenges of classrooms and accommodation. We just started this year and it means next year accommodation will be a problem."

Sister Dingi said President Mugabe promised to work with them until construction of the school was complete.

"We do not disclose what he has promised us but he (President Mugabe) has been to Esigodini in Umzingwane district already and he will continue with the project. We intend to make the school an institution of excellence," she said.

"We want it to be like Monte Casino, one of the schools we run. They put us on cloud nine as they topped Ordinary Level pass rate. It has always been performing better and it is only just that this year was the climax."

She said from their hours of interaction, they discovered that President Mugabe was a humble person.

"He is very simple, friendly and easy to talk to. That is why we had to sing songs of gratitude and birthday songs for him in celebration of his birthday he had recently," Sister Dingi said.

The nuns presented President Mugabe with belated birthday and wedding gifts for her daughter Bona.

"Ichi chipo ndechemuchati, chaBona. Mune Bhaibheri, nebook rezvemuchato nezambia. Zambia ndere chita chema precious blood, asi kana ari murooraka anosungirira. Takafara baba. Akatipa dignity tese tese nyika yese nechechi nezvaakaita," she said

A Chinese company, Hualong, is constructing the school which is now over 80 percent complete.

President Mugabe has pledged to continue supporting the school.

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