Zimbabwe asks Britain for funds to educate a million children

via Zimbabwe asks Britain for funds to educate a million children – Telegraph By Peta Thornycroft, and Aislinn Laing 24 Jan 2014

Robert Mugabe’s regime is facing another economic crisis and is asking for help

Britain is considering a request by Zimbabwe for funds to cover school fees for one million impoverished children – around a third of the country’s pupils.

The request was made to the Department for International Development (DIFID) by the Zimbabwean government ten days ago, the same week that schools opened for the year.

Britain paid school fees for about 300,000 mostly-disadvantaged children for three years during the multiparty government, which ended last August when President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party won a huge majority in disputed elections.

Britain, Germany and other European donors also paid for more than 13 million text books for schoolchildren after the inclusive government, which included Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, came to power in 2009.

Now, despite Mr Mugabe’s anti-British rhetoric and insistence that Zimbabwe is better without the interference of its former colonial master, the labour and social services ministry has asked DIFID to contribute towards the basic fees which cover the school costs.

“We received an initial request from the Zimbabwean Government and we are considering our response,” a DFID spokesman said.

The government of Mr Mugabe, a teacher himself by training, inherited one of Africa’s best education systems and, in the 15 years after independence, improved it further, expanding the number of schools, improving teacher training and boosting resources. As a result, Zimbabwe continues to boast one of the highest literacy rates in Sub-Saharan Africa.

However, like all public services, it has been crippled by an economic crisis that began in the late 90s. Hyperinflation made what salaries were paid worthless and, coupled with a growing climate of political intolerance, many teachers moved abroad.

Today, the government estimates that approximately a million children, mostly from primary schools, will need help with school fees.

Lazarus Dokora, the education minister, told The Daily Telegraph: “As far as my pupils are concerned, they are all in school. None have been excluded. (The fees) never flow in a synchronised way, and come in usually as a postscript each year.”

The Zimbabwean government can only pay teachers’ salaries since it is collecting ever less tax in the shrinking economy as more and more companies lose patience with the administration and pull out.

Donors say privately they do not approve of the present school funding model as it is run by school committees made up of parents who are regularly partisan about which child deserves help with school fees, sometimes along political lines.

Zimbabwe’s collapsed economy was rescued, to an extent, by the inclusive government five years ago, but David Coltart, the former MDC education minister, said he estimated that even with that assistance more than 300,000 children did not attend school last year.

“The school system is grossly underfunded by government and was designed for a different economy,” he said. “It is not coping to ensure that all eligible children will attend school.”

Despite massive aid from the UK, Mr Mugabe regularly hits out at Britain, which continues to support targeted EU sanctions against key members of his regime, and is threatening to take over the few remaining British-owned companies.

“They should not continue to harass us,” he told supporters last year. “We have not done anything to their companies here, the British have several companies in this country, and we have not imposed any controls, any sanctions against them, but time will come when we will say well, tit-for-tat, you hit me, I hit you.”

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28 comments on “Zimbabwe asks Britain for funds to educate a million children
  1. ZimJim says:

    Go hang, Bob.

  2. tugamba says:

    Like the crooks they are they use children to get money from Britain so they can loot as they always do.So why are you always blaming the British for your failures? Ande hamunyari. Shame on you Zanu PF

  3. Tjingababili says:

    KEEP YOUR POUND, WE SHALL KEEP OUR POVERTY!

  4. chu says:

    HAVE YOU ASKED YOURSELVES OR PONDERED OVER THE ILL GOTTEN WEALTH OF THE GUSHUNGOS. THESE GUYS ARE LIKE HYENAS; THEY WALK SILENTLY AMONG SHEEP AS DOCILE ANIMALS YET THEY ARE SPECIALIST KILLERS.THESE GUYS ARE FILTHY RICH.SO DO YOU THINK THEY CARE WHO YOU ARE OR WHAT YOU EAT. ITS DOG IT DOG. I ENVY THE DEMOCRATIC SPACE IN SOUTH AFRICA. WE NEED A MANDELA OF OUR OWN-THATS THE SOLUTION, WHO WILL PUT ALL THUGS TO WHERE THEY BELONG. WE NEED A LITTLE PUTIN WHO CONFISCATES ALL ILLGOTTEN MONEY AND GIVES IT TO THE RIGHTFULL PEOPLE.

  5. mutakura says:

    Blair Keep your little england and i wil keep my zimbabwe. Zimbabwe wil never be a colony again. Shame, shame, shame on you britain! And now we go to the same people begging with a cap in hand. Eish, madhodha! Zvakaoma sibili

  6. Doris says:

    So where do you suppose they will work after they have been educated? Farms are buggered, businesses are closing daily and the mining sector will eventually be ruined.

  7. Let the British bring the money and be booed by the Zanupf vigilant youth like what they did to the American. I really enjoyed reading that news. These imperialists must be taught tha

  8. Let the British bring that money and be booed by the Zanupf vigilant youth like what they did to the American in Masvingo. I really enjoyed reading that news. These imperialists must be taught that they cannot sell their cake and still keep it. Why should they give us their dirty pound? That is for their stooge Tswangirai or Welshman Ncube. If they have excess they can give it to Dabengwa’s impoverished Zapu to bury their dead or to any one like Simba Makoni. Not Zanupf or their government that is so rich with diamonds. Remember the Zanupf government has the world’s “largest diamond deposits”. Asking for British money, for what really?

    • Ruramai says:

      Bazur, strange comment. It is the Zanu p.f. government which is begging for money not Tsvangirai.

      I suppose you are right that the Zanu p.f. youths should boo the British because they are unemployed hence need to kept busy even if it means they make fools of themselves.

      • stobbs says:

        bazur ,,you are as dull as the fools you support,,who is asking for funds here??where does MDC come in when its the government of the day begging ,,what are you talking about really if you have nothing to say go and sing for your supper and scud else where you dunce

  9. NBS says:

    ZPF just amaze me. The begging bowl, our national symbol, I out again. What a bunch of clowns. I weep tears for this nation.

    • Kevin Watson says:

      $200m for Mugabe and $43m for education and then the Minister of Education has the cheek to ask Britain for money. ZANU PF and the halfwit Minister of Finance need to get their priorities right before begging for money!

  10. Zombi says:

    TILL WHEN???

    Till when will Zimbabweans sit back and blame others for their lot? We know it’s a recipe for disaster. But we blame SADC, and Zanu PF, and Robber Garbage Mug-a-bee, Dis-Grace and his ailing age? At what point do we accept that we’ve given the country to lunatic geriatrics and we need to do something about it? Till when do we stand by and watch, expecting a miracle from Zanu PF? At what point do we decide to stand up for our children’s future? At what point do we decide to take action? At what point will we be moved enough by our plight that we demand our rights to a decent living?

  11. Nzou says:

    Zanupf’s priority is to fund the military and themselves. So from their voodoo 2014 budget there is very little left for education. So why not try getting the bleeding hearts in UK to fund the military further by providing zanupf funds to channel it via the education ministry to the military.

    Good logic

  12. Saddened says:

    Let us not forget the 2 million dollar vote given to the president’s office when virtually every other ministry was given far less than requested. As usual some are more equal than others. As for the comment by Bazur Wa KuMuzi that the ‘Zanupf government has the world’s “largest diamond deposits” – really , then when will this needy children benefit from it?

  13. gonzo says:

    look east

  14. NBS says:

    Are we serious?

  15. obert says:

    If the British give Mugabe the money, it will be like buying beer for a loud mouthed village idiot who will scold you afterwards…..

  16. jobolinko says:

    There are a lot of things which need to be adressed before Harare can ask for money from the imperialists especialy uk ,Dual citzenship ,diaspora vote ,and the new constitution laws, Zanu has done nothing to align laws with the new constitution,YET ZIMBABWE WILL NEVER BE A COLONY AGAIN.

    • Umwrong says:

      All of you mentally deficient people screaming “Zimbabwe will never be a colony again!”

      You don’t even realize how pathetic you are. Who the hell wants to be involved with Zimbabwe? The world has passed you idiots by.

  17. Dayford says:

    Bottom line is…when we allow ourselves to be led by a 90 year old geriatric with a team of corrupt and bloodthirsty gangsters…things are bound to fall apart. These people do not care about tomorrow…all they want is to spend as much as they can lay their hands on today at whatever cost…SOLUTION? let us beg for some more money under the guise of school fees then spend it of course. Their comrades’ children have run out of cash on their diplomatic missions. Your time is up Zanu…you have done enough damage. To some of us you are not an enemy, you need help like a mad person in a psychiatric hospital…only problem is this patient is VERY VERY unwell.

  18. Joe says:

    Won’t someone invade and bf rid of this useless my God pathetic bunch. Asking off money from Britain whilst china flies out from marange with diamonds on private planes. What’s going on

  19. To all you rent a crowd cio abuses monitoring this site.remember treason is punishable by death. Bassop imbwe!!!!!!!!!

  20. hutu says:

    In the next two weeks a lot more will come to light. We are in there…….Watch this space…..

  21. Ra says:

    @ Ruramai it’s not Zanu Pf which is asking for money! ZanuPf will never beg Britain for any aid. This is the dirty works of the so called journalists who want to make a bad reputation of our Zanu Pf. So bear this in mind.

    Right now as l speak l have enough money which can last me three decades even if l do not check on my farm!

  22. Tafadzwa Zim says:

    @Ra. It’s not what you do in this life, it’s how you answer for it in the next! Although with any luck your thievery will be punished in this life too..

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