Letters: More State-funded schools should be introduced

George Stark School in Mbare children walk home after school in Mbare

TODAY is International Day of Education and Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (Viset) joins the world in commemorating this important day whose 2023 theme is To invest in people, prioritise education.

Education plays an important role at both individual and societal levels in that it is a driver to national prosperity.

In Zimbabwe, according to the Education Act (Chapter 25:04), primary education for every child of school-going age is compulsory. This was further amended in 2020 to bring it in conformity with section 75 of the Constitution and further provides that every school should provide suitable infrastructure for students with disabilities and requires government authorities to ensure disability rights are protected and accounted for in every school in the country. The law reasserts the constitutional provision that pupils should not pay fees, or levies, from pre-school to Form Four, the end of lower secondary education, and adds that no pupil shall be excluded from school for non-payment of school fees.

What we, however, see obtaining on the ground is that many children are being forced into the informal sector by parents and guardians in order to augment family incomes.

Viset in no way condones this practice and will continue to engage other stakeholders and came up with measures to ensure that children are kept in school in order for them to reach their full potential.

We also urge the government to come up with more State-funded schools, as there continues to be a decline in State infrastructure funding for education, leaving children vulnerable to child labour and social ills such as drug abuse, child marriages and human trafficking. - Viset

Free, fair elections will instil investor confidence

RIGHT now, Zimbabwe is gripped by election fever and the Zanu PF-led government is bent on rigging the vote. There is widespread violence and the country has failed to produce something as basic as a verified voters roll. And yet the election will go ahead regardless because the opposition is after the few crumbs Zanu PF is offering.

Failure to hold free, fair and credible elections will only confirm Zimbabwe’s status as a failed State. How is it possible that 43 years after independence and in this day and age, we still have no clue of what constitutes free elections?

Zanu PF has denied us basic freedoms and human rights including the right to vote in a free environment. Before independence, the rallying cry was “one man one vote” which acknowledges the right of everyone to have a say in the governance of the country.

Ever since MDC failed to enforce the implementation of even one reform during the 2009 to 2013 Government of National Unity, the new rallying call has been “win rigged elections!” This is just an excuse to allow Zanu PF to continue riding roughshod over the people, denying them their right to free elections.

Holding free, fair and credible elections is a prerequisite to ending Zimbabwe’s curses of corruption, bad governance and the pariah State status.

As long as the country remains a pariah State, there will be no meaningful economic recovery. - Gamuchirai Garikai

Zim must guard against terrorist intrusion in oil, gas areas

ZIMBABWE is set to join the oil and gas-producing countries of the world. This follows the discovery of oil and gas deposits by Australia-listed  firm Invictus Energy Ltd in Muzarabani — Mbire area — near the border with Mozambique.

These vital resources should be jealously guarded against internal and external terrorist attacks.

Oil and gas-producing countries are targets of terrorists who attack the facilities to spite powerful countries overseas which have interests in such resources.

Now that oil and gas reserves have been discovered in Zimbabwe, we are not immune to terrorist activities. Attacks on oil and gas installations have become the weapon of choice for international terrorist groups irrespective of the political system of the society under attack.

Usually the exploration sites are located in remote areas, characterised by poor transport and communication infrastructure, thereby making it difficult to fight terrorism.

It is, therefore, imperative that security forces guard these exploration sites to avoid the Mozambique Cabo Delgado  scenario in Muzarabani. - Tarirai Gwapedza




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