HARARE mayor Jacob Mafume has launched a broadside on “educated, but incompetent government ministers” whom he accused of running down the economy and failing to reign in the country’s run-away inflation.
Speaking on AMH’s HSTV FreeTalk show last week, Mafume castigated government for trying to impose academic qualifications on candidates wishing to run for council offices, saying those who were looking to make the law, while educated, had failed.
“How many doctors are in the Cabinet, where is the economy; how many doctors have run the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, where is the economy; how many doctors have run the Ministry of Finance, where is the economy now? These cities were not built by degrees, people who used to work in these cities used to have ZJC (Zimbabwe Junior Certificate), yet they built dams,” he said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Cabinet has, among many, in its ranks Vice-President Constatino Chiwenga, who holds a Phd and Finance and Economic Development minister Mthuli Ncube, who is an economics professor.
Other ministers who hold doctorates include Amon Murwira (Higher and Tertiary ministry), Anxious Masuku (Agriculture and Lands), Sekai Nzenza (Industry and Commerce) and Paul Mavima (Labour and Social Welfare), among others.
Mafume said the fixation with academic qualifications was at the heart of Zimbabwe’s problems and should not be seen as a solution.
“This fascination (of having) a degree, whatever even a degree in witchcraft, by Zimbabweans will be the destruction of our society. How many educated people are in Botswana, yet they are being run very well?
“We have more educated people, more universities than Botswana and Namibia. There are misplaced priorities in Zimbabwe, what we need is a moral upright leadership that is clear on issues of corruption,” Mafume said.
In March, Cabinet approved a legal framework that will allow government to introduce minimum qualifications for councillors to improve competence in service delivery.
There have been concerns over the years that most councillors were failing to appreciate their mandate and authority because of low literacy levels. the CCC week-in review programme, party spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere blamed the ruling Zanu PF party for failing to deliver on its 2018 election promise to provide quality affordable healthcare.
“As cholera cases continue to rise across the country, the call to create a functioning public health system for everyone has never been louder. Access to clean portable water and quality affordable healthcare should not just be an election slogan, but a living reality,” she said.
Mahere added: “A CCC government will prioritise community participation in health planning, provision, control and monitoring of health services including the provision of safe clean drinking water, sanitation, decent housing, clean and green waste disposal and feed hygiene across urban, rural, farming and resettlement communities.”
Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium vibrio cholerae.
It is an extremely virulent disease which can cause acute watery diarrhoea. It takes between 12 hours to five days for a person to show symptoms after ingesting contaminated food or water.
The bacterial disease affects both children and adults and can kill within hours if untreated. Among people who develop symptoms, the majority show mild or moderate symptoms, while a minority develop acute watery diarrhoea with severe dehydration. This can lead to death if untreated.
This year’s first cholera case was reported on February 12 in Chegutu, Mashonaland West province, but the waterborne disease has since spread to nine of the country’s 10 provinces.
While no case has been detected in Matabeleland North, neighbouring Matabeleland South is emerging as a hotspot after claiming four lives last week.