Ndakaziva Majaka 19 April 2017
HARARE – Government’s plan to introduce a law which allows parents to pay
school fees with livestock and labour has become a butt of bad jokes on
social media which has since gone viral as long suffering citizens make
their views known in ways that provide comical relief.
The Movable Property Security Interests Bill which floats the idea of
using movable assets like goats, cattle, sheep and cars as collateral for
bank loans – is seen as taking the country backwards.
Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora told the State
media last week that some schools had already entered into arrangements
with parents who were failing to pay fees to provide either labour or
“Our schools have to be flexible and ensure those who do not have money to
pay fees can work.
“For example, if there is a builder in the community, he/she must be given
that opportunity to work as a form of payment of tuition fees.
“On the issue of livestock, the community has to arrange a market where
everyone participates; from the school authorities, local leadership and
parents themselves to avoid parents being duped,” said Dokora.
But the move has almost broken the Internet with unimpressed Zimbabweans
using memes and butts of bad jokes to express their anger and disbelief.
Outspoken activist lawyer, Fadzayi Mahere took to micro-blogging site,
Twitter to share her thoughts.
“Cows and goats to secure bank loans. Cows and goats to pay school fees.
Very soon we shall need a Reserve Kraal of Zimbabwe,” tweeted Mahere.
Another user, Prophet Cynic, tweeted a meme of a prominent charismatic
preacher with the caption, “When your followers bring goats to pay as
tithes and offerings…”
Social influencer and businesswoman, Nomathemba Primrose Ndebele, also
took to her Facebook wall in jest and wrote, “How are you paying? Swipe,
Ecocash, Cash or Goat?”
Renowned writer and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga also tweeted, “If we had
been told in 1970 `We are fighting to introduce cattle and goats as
currency. Please help & die for this” what would we have said?”
A joke circulating on WhatsApp has a picture of a goat and the words:
“BREAKING NEWS: Zimbabwe introduces a new currency.”
Zimbabwe is in the throes of a huge economic crisis which has seen
government failing to pay its civil servants on time on the back of
dwindling revenue stemming from company closures and job losses.
Mugabe – the only leader that Zimbabweans have ever known since the
country got its independence from Britain in 1980 – stands accused of
ruining the once-vibrant economy through bad policies.