Let’s shut down Zimbabwe!

Letters to the editor

THE recent university fee hikes would not have been exorbitant if we had a working currency, a listening government and overally a working economy.

When the Zimbabwe National Students Union called for a shutdown, I shared this with my friends who asked me to divide the student fees by the black market rate. We realised that varsity students are paying an equivalent to US$200. But there is catch.

How much is being given to our fathers by the same government that is hiking fees in the State institutions? They are earning less than US$100 at the prevailing black market rate.

Now, this protest is essentially not premised on cheap education. It is premised on affordable education.

By affordable, I mean something that is within the reach of someone coming from an average family, someone whose father or mother is a civil servant. You cannot pay a teacher an equivalent of $80 and charge her two children who are at university US$200 each. It makes no sense.

Today’s shutdown is a signal to the government that the citizens can no longer breathe.  It is a signal that there is decay in the nation. The currency is losing value at a frightening pace, the economy is in shambles and the salaries the civil servants are getting are not enough to earn a decent living.

When the University of Zimbabwe students protested, 10 arrests were made. This is something that was not even supposed to happen, but because of the draconian laws and the heavy handedness of the law enforcement agents, they were arrested and in so doing, the government showed that it does not care. Our parents are forced to hustle to make ends meet. Pay our parents a decent wage and see if we complain.

The students, with the backing of Zimbabweans,  have shifted gears; they are demanding answers to critical questions.

Our education system is in shambles. There is nothing to show for the natural resources that Zimbabwe is endowed with.

The money raised from the sale of our resources, which is supposed to be used for developing our higher learning institutions, is being looted.

While this happens, we are here as vene venyika (owners of the country), cheering on politicians who are hiking our fees to exorbitant levels, looting our resources, heavily taxing us and coming back to us to ask for votes! Fellow Zimbabweans, today is the day, let us build the country! –Desire Kateyera

Govt should restore teachers’ dignity

AFRICAN leaders have never valued education. It is never their culture to learn and explore.

The current leadership in Zimbabwe is a very good example. Our leadership does not even value quality education. It is silently killing our education system because it wants to hang on to power.

Teachers play a very important and pivotal role in shaping society and empowering it through unpacking knowledge.

Why are Zimbabwean teachers still being paid peanuts under such a harsh economic environment? We always see them engaging in strike action and the cycle continues unabated, thereby disrupting and interfering with the time for students to learn.

I am surprised by the utterances by President Emmerson Mnangagwa who said government could not be armtwisted by teachers. Have teachers become enemies of the State or do they pose a threat to national security?

The fact will remain that teachers across the country are incapacitated and the government must pay them a living wage.

School pupils are now involved in anti-social vices because of the absence of teachers. The system has destroyed the future of the next generations. A once vibrant Zimbabwean education is slowly going down the drain, while leaders are watching.

Most parents cannot afford to send their children to private schools and the government is creating a situation whereby marginalised children will end up not accessing quality education.

It will be the preserve of those from rich backgrounds.

Pupils are unhappy with an ongoing salary impasse which the government is failing to tackle, which has forced them to go on strike. The situation will degenerate into chaos if government continues to ignore the plight of teachers. This is what caused the Soweto uprising of 1976 in South Africa, where students protested because they were being ill-treated.

Teachers are not single. They have families to feed and look after. They want to send their children to school and not all teachers have houses. They also want to pay rentals and other bills.

A teachers’ salaries are pathetic, while the Zanu PF-led government officials are busy looting billions of dollars in well-orchestrated scheme to siphon State resources with impunity. Government must address teachers’ grievances so that normalcy can be restored. –Village Teacher

BCC needs complete overhaul

WE all want and wish to see our beloved Bulawayo move up, but as far as I can see our city fathers are only in it for the money not for the people.

If you need proof of this just go to the revenue hall to pay your rates and water bills then you will understand what I am talking about. They totally have no regard or value for ratepayers time and welfare.

Last Wednesday, I stood in the queue with the elderly from 10:26am only to be saved at 4:11pm.

To my disappointment, there were only five counters open to save more than 800 ratepayers at a snail’s pace, with so many Bulawayo City Council staff just loitering the hall, yet so many counters were closed.

It was so painful you could see ogogo behlezi pansi (old people seated on the floor). This is just unacceptable even Abel Muzorewa’s Zimbabwe/Rhodesia had nothing like this. This was my first time to enter  revenue mall and pay my fathers bills.

If these people are not interested in saving us, can we please have an overhaul of all the staff, including the city fathers — councillors who just want our vote to feel their bellies, while they totally neglect us.

Imagine how much production hours have been lost by people queuing to pay rates.

Please, if council does  not want to open all the counters to save us, they should not expect pay rises.

They should just move out and make way for people who care for Bulawayo and its people.

Local Government minister July Moyo should intervene.

Shame on you guys, there is no where Bulawayo is going with such attitudes being exhibited by councillors and employees. The fathers can’t even come out of their offices and see how pathetic ratepayers are being treated.

Please, give these jobs to people who have residents at heart.

Thank you, I cannot wait to see you all gone, there are many school leavers who can give us better services. –Concerned Bulawayo resident

IN response to Zim receives US$500m for health projects, MAJID ZELENSKY says: Hopefully, these funds are going to be used to buy 100 ambulances (each province should get 10) and 50 cancer machines (five per province) and revamp all maternity wards in all major hospitals as well as buying drug stocks for all major hospitals. If this money is used wisely, it can do wonders to the healthcare system which is on the deathbed.

MUROORA WAPUTIN says: Zimbabwe has been receiving million of dollars in donor aid to jumpstart its healthcare system, but the money has been abused by top government officials. This calls for government to employ prudent financial systems in handling such funds.

IN response to Chamisa welcomes Khupe, BYBEAT MASHY says: Instead of embracing this Thokozani Khupe, the Citizens Coalition for Change should be clamouring for electoral reforms! The opposition party should be demanding change of laws to allow for the diaspora vote. CCC leader Nelson Chamisa should be lobbying the Southern African Development Community, African Union, European Union and United Nations to intervene. As long Zimbabweans go to the polls which will be administered by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, you will hear the same chorus of “rigging”.

MZALA THOBELA says: Definitely, this has always been the Citizens Coalition for Change policy that anyone is welcome to join the party irrespective of their political history. Otherwise, it is high time people concentrated on issues that really matter such as electoral reforms.

FRANK BEKEZELA MPOFU says: I challenge all Zimbabweans to respond to this patriotic call to national duty — go and register to vote, inspect the voters roll to make sure your name appears, then go and vote on election day. Your vote is your voice, Go yellow, vote Nelson Chamisa. Chamisa should be given the mandate to government Zimbabwe because he has shown good leadership qualities — tolerance. There are no permanent friends, but permanent interests in politics.