Plans to engage Chinese contractors noble, but . . .

Plans by the Zanu PF government to engage the Chinese to build infrastructure at several satellite schools located in resettlement areas where pupils are learning under makeshift buildings is a noble idea.

NewsDay Editorial

It is sad that more than a decade after the land reform, government has not made an effort to build schools to ensure children of resettled farmers get a decent education.

The situation has been so dire that pupils from the resettled areas have been attending lessons in tobacco barns that were constructed without using cement posing a serious danger to learners.

Some of them have collapsed and left several children injured.

In 2011, a 14-year-old pupil at Munhondo Primary School in Darwendale was killed after a makeshift tobacco barn they were using as a classroom collapsed.
Several of her classmates were injured.

The school used the barn to accommodate over 600 pupils from nearby farms.

To make the plight of these pupils worse, qualified teachers shun those satellite schools which were mostly run by untrained teachers. This compromised the quality of education.

Education minister Lazarus Dokora last week told Senate that he would leave for China in the next few weeks to engage that country to build decent infrastructure at these schools where teachers were still conducting lessons in disused tobacco barns.

China, however, has a poor record of constructing durable infrastructure. Government should be challenged to make sure that the Chinese contractors who would be tasked to do the job comply with the country’s set standards to avoid a situation whereby the structures would crack and collapse.

If precautions are not made to have the Chinese comply, pupils would be exposed to the same risks. The Chinese should be made to use local developers and local material such as cement. The structures should be built using Zimbabwean standards.

This will attract qualified teachers in those newly built schools and improve the standards of education in the new farming communities.

It is regrettable that the plight of these pupils has been neglected for a long time and government should move with speed to ensure that there is decent infrastructure in these schools.

The engagement of China should not come at a cost for our country.

Already, the environment is bearing the brunt of some unscrupulous Chinese investors who are panning gold along the river banks. All they want to is to extract gold, nothing more.

We also hope that the government will not mortgage the country’s resources in return for the building of schools.

The Chinese, just like other foreign investors, must be held accountable for whatever they do.

There is no doubt that the country is yearning for support, but it must not come with unreasonable strings attached.

4 Comments

  1. The plan by the govmnt to engage the Chinese is noble so said. noble to who? noble in what sense you are not telling us. Are you saying we must get some money from China or what? The first resettlement in the early 80s was sponsored by Britain is that what you mean? We have more that enough and qualified contractors, cement is locally available, bricks we are exporting today, roofing ,material is locally available too so where are these Chinese coming in in this equation. Ndioneseiwo chandiri kutadza kuona chiri kuonekwa newamwe hama dzangu.

  2. chausiri kuona madiamonds atirikuda kuendesa kuChina as bonding

  3. I’m lost on why we’re going to China. I drove past Shawasha Hills yesterday and saw state of the art houses being built by these Museyamwas, why do we need the Chinese for school blocks? If only I could talk to the GVT, we’re shunning one form of colonisation and move towards a more costly one. We’re mortgaging the country to China, our kids will suffer in trying to repay these loans. We are getting loans backed on un-mined minerals. This is eating future income, where will be future get their income? This so colled securitisation caused the financial crisis, why then are we not learning. Our kids will suffer, we are being a selfish generation.

  4. These morons of Zanu PF never cease to amaze.I mean,in one breathe they talk of empowerment ,creating employment and promoting local industries and then you hear this rubbish about bringing in the Chinese to do this and that;you dont need a rocket scientist from China to build a mere school!Something stinks here.There are people who are getting ‘cuts’ from these deals with these Asians.

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