By Richard Muponde
GOVERNMENT has warned schools against wantonly hiking fees ahead of the opening of the schools on January 14, saying it would not approve such increases.
Addressing a rented crowd made up of mostly residents bussed in from other suburbs after Kuwadzana residents snubbed the event, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said his administration would not approve exorbitant hikes in school fees.
“I have heard that you are complaining that school fees have been increased. We haven’t approved any fees hikes. All government schools haven’t increased school fees and government has not approved any fees hike,” he said.
“What I have are requests by local authorities that they want to increase rates and from what I have gathered here as your grievances, I am going to refuse those requests.”
The clean-up programme, which was scheduled to start around 8:30am, was delayed by nearly two hours to allow Zupco and Zanu PF buses to bring in people from outside Kuwadzana — an MDC stronghold.
Earlier, police had allegedly chased away vendors from Kuwadzana 2 shopping centre and forced small shops to close, claiming the directive had come from the Environment Management Agency (EMA) which superintends the clean-up campaigns.
However, EMA denied giving such orders.
In an interview on the sidelines, EMA official Steady Kangata said the clean-up campaign was not held to disturb businesses but to boost them.
“We have never ordered the chasing away of vendors or closure of any business. The clean-up campaign is done within two hours and in that period it’s meant for the greater good. There is no disturbance to religious activities, businesses, social and educational activities, instead it gives the vendors and businesses an opportunity to boost their sales and to clean up areas where they work from and attract clients,” Kangata said.
Mnangagwa urged citizens to keep their surroundings clean to attract visitors and investors into the country.
“I am happy that Harare is becoming clean. I am not sure whether it’s all areas because I have just driven along Samora Machel. Let’s keep the country clean so that visitors find it clean and attractive. Don’t just say EMA and councils should keep the places clean, you should also do the same,” he said.