The clueless and increasingly desperate Minister of Primary and Secondary education, Lazarus Dokora, is playing a dangerous game with the lives of thousands of headmasters when he convenes them in Harare for a meaningless junket disguised as a conference to discuss issues facing the education sector.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has established that Dokora intends to use school principals as canon fodder in ZANU PF factional wars. On the same day that Dokora intends to dress school leaders as school kids and frog march them from his office to Harare International Conference Centre (HICC), his party ZANU PF will be holding it’s own demonstrations across town.
Thousands of ZANU PF thugs and zealots will be flooding the streets of Harare and Dokora intends to use this opportunity to show his factional lords in the Lacoste grouping that he has a lot of people by having school headd march past ZANU PF headquarters. He hopes by this act to revive his waning political fortunes. This is a dangerous game as violence is likely to break out given the animosity between factions in ZANU PF and in government.
In any event the idea of dressing school leaders in uniforms and march in the streets is reminiscent of NAZI tactics which then begs the question: to what end will this benefit our crisis ridden education system? This is very cheap yet dangerous politics from Dokora.
It is therefore irresponsible for Dokora to waste money from schools which could have been utilized for development purposes in pursuing narrow factional politics which will not benefit education in this country.
Furthermore it is ironic that Dokora, working in cahoots with state security , deny teachers and their Unions rights to protest and march for better working conditions, salary increment, rural attraction and retention allowance among other progressive policies yet they pour resources down a bottomless pit marching for no cause at all.
Like Mugabe Dokora wants to display a public show of support for his pathetic curriculum which has all but failed so far. He wants to posture as someone knowing what they are doing when he is in fact clueless.
What causes more apprehension is the fact that most of the school leaders will be coming from remote rural outposts and as it is month-end they will be looking to enduring long bank queues so as to obtain cash. To then waste their time with useless games which endanger their lives is a double insult which is unacceptable.
Most schools are debt ridden, with properties on the verge of being attached by creditors, as government owes them hundreds of millions of dollars. The same government now expect them to foot the bill of this useless Harare jamboree. In any event what can 10 000 delegates from diverse schools with very little in common discuss?
ARTUZ once again urges right thinking educationists to stay away from this sham and instead focus on preparing for the next term and also take the opportunity to rest with their families. The empty threats of being fired will never happen as the law is clear and as ARTUZ we will have a legal team ready to assist any worker who is victimised by the Ministry.
Further, we appeal to well meaning funders who could have potentially been duped by Dokora’s cunningness to withdraw any support they had extended to the bogus conference.
We also strongly warn Dokora to desist from playing Russian roulette with the lives of educators who carry the responsibility to enlighten the nation.
ARTUZ National President