New era dawns as NUST bids farewell to founding members

A NEW era dawns at NUST as the University bade farewell to some of its founding senior staff members who served the institution with much dedication and commitment.

NUST Council, management and workers associations, last week bade farewell to two of its former senior managers, Dr Fortune Nkomo, who was the University Bursar, and Mr Felix Moyo who served as the Director of Communication and Marketing not long after the retirement of the University’s Registrar, Mr Fidelis Mhlanga.

“You have left NUST in an honourable manner,” said the Chairman of the NUST Council, Eng Alvord Mabena, in his farewell remarks to the three. “As you walk out of the institution’s gates, you can walk tall because you walk out clean.”

He applauded the three for their sterling service, which give a total of 79 years when combined, and thanked them for choosing to spend a part of their lifetime growing NUST.

“As a team, you always ensured that NUST business moves forward and it’s a fact that your departure has a destabilising effect on the University. As Council we are working to bring stability by recruiting capable staff to continue the work of moving NUST forward,” he noted.

Eng Mabena challenged senior management who were present to ensure NUST re-gains its position as a leader in science and technology.

“Let us respond by coming up with innovations, and adapt to the new normal. We need to have focus, and if we work as a team, the power in us will be useful, as we work to serve our future generations,” he said. 

Bidding his farewell to the former Bursar and Director, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Mqhele Dlodlo remarked how the two kept the reputation of NUST afloat in all their years of service, owing to the nature of their jobs. 

“Dr Nkomo controlled NUST funds and always sought to solve the problems that we found ourselves in by managing the damage that was caused by the University community,” he noted. “He used our motto ‘think in other terms’ very well as he took the University through the hard-economic times and hence we stand today.”

Prof Dlodlo also gave credit to Mrs Nkomo, who was also present, that through her immeasurable support at home, Dr Nkomo was able to hold the fort well at NUST.

“Mr Moyo, you unified communication and marketing and always told the NUST story based on facts,” said Prof Dlodlo about the former director of Communication and Marketing. “You kept the media under control and guided them into portraying a positive image about NUST. Today, NUST is an influence within and to outside stakeholders because of the communication and marketing director.”   

Speaking on behalf of the Bursar’s department, Mr Lawrence Ncube, who is also the Deputy Bursar, highlighted how Dr Nkomo was a unifier within the department and mentored many in their academic work.

“Dr Nkomo taught us that as a person, one needs to be established in their role in order to be effective,” he said, while adding that because of his other title of Pastor, a lot of marriages within the Bursar’s Department were solemnised during his years as the head of the department.

The former Bursar’s colleague, Mrs Phiona Ndebele, and the former Bursar’s Personal Assistant, Ms Simakuhle Dube, also echoed similar sentiments by sharing how Dr Nkomo had been a good friend to all in the department.

The Communication and Marketing Officer, Mrs Lindiwe Nyoni, highlighted how Mr Moyo lived his life promoting, protecting and defending NUST.

“We know as you take your retirement you will always have NUST at heart. You will defend it, you will protect it, you will promote it because it is your DNA,” she said.

She thanked Mr Moyo for his gift of unifying people, problem-solving and ensuring that the COMA department was always a happy working environment.

The personal assistant to Mr Moyo, Mrs Sitheni Badza, expressed her gratitude to Mr Moyo for allowing her and everyone else within the department to flourish in their careers and as people in general, because he supported ideas from all members of the department regardless of rank or position.

Speaking as a colleague to Mr Moyo, the Director of the Centre for Continuing Education, Prof Stanley Mpofu, described him as someone who would never turn down a person who needed help.

“Felix was always there for those who needed his help; be it fuel, mealie-meal or assistance in securing a new passport,” expressed Prof Mpofu. “He was highly protective of his own, and was one who represented fairness and being just in everything he did.”

He further pointed out that Mr Moyo, who gave NUST all he could, was a performer par-excellence in his duties, and there was no one who could emulate that trait.

Representatives of staff associations also spoke on how well they had worked with the former Registrar, Bursar and Director of Communication and Marketing noting that in issues regarding staff welfare, the three always opened the door to staff associations’ representatives and issues were discussed amicably.

In their responses, the three former senior members expressed how the occasion was humbling to them, and how grateful they have been for serving the institution for these years.

“In my years at NUST, I was taught to be purpose-driven and I learnt a lot from colleagues in their various capacities,” said Dr Nkomo. “I must say that NUST has fine, hardworking staff who are diligent and competent and have the ability to take NUST forward.”

Dr Nkomo joined NUST on 1 August 1991 as senior assistant bursar and rose through the ranks to his appointment as Bursar on 1 January 2010. His contract as Bursar ended on 30 April 2020.

In his response, Mr Mhlanga noted that the NUST community members, in their different roles and functions, can work towards achieving the University vision.

He joined the University on 1 May 1994 as assistant registrar in the Faculty of Applied Sciences. He assumed various positions leading to his appointment as the Registrar in 2009, a position he held until his retirement on 30 April 2020.

Responding to various speeches, Mr Moyo thanked NUST and the department of COMA for their support during his tenure as director, and encouraged the University to adapt to the new way of doing things, to change administrative systems and improve on service delivery so as to fully serve the client.

Mr Moyo joined NUST in 1997 as Industrial Liaison Officer and was appointed director of COMA in 2005, a position he held until his retirement on 30 June 2020.

 

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