The Zimbabwe government has always prided itself in the phenomenal strides it made in the country’s post-independence education, that witnessed the proliferation of schools to reach nearly all sections of the population, leading to not only an over ninety percent (+90%) literacy rate, but also a citizenry renowned globally for their exceptional education and intelligence.
As much as we can not say the same with regards the current state of the country’s education standards – through the government’s incomprehensible neglection of this, as well as other once enviable sectors, as health, which have been recklessly abandoned as orphans, without any meaningful investment, witnessed by a demoralized and incapacitated workforce earning slave wages, lack of necessary infrastructural development and adequate equipment, and a shallow curriculum that does not encourage much independent analysis and thinking – nevertheless, what some of us attained in the 1980s and 1990s was arguably the best on the continent, if not the world.
For that, I give a huge thank you to the Zimbabwe government of the day – which had great luminaries and technocrats, in the mould of Dzingai Mutumbuka and Fay Chung – as opposed to their predecessors, who were largely appointed due their closeness to the seat of power, who have presided over the heartrending collapse of a once vibrant and enviable education system, as they spend most their time singing for their supper, through seriously irritating praise-singing and hero-worshipping.
However, I am not quite sure whether this rampant destruction of our education system was willful, or simply a matter of incompetence.
Why do I say so?
Well, this has everything to do with the seething vitriolic anger that has characterized the Zimbabwe regime, most particularly over the past two decades, as we witnessed its relentless attacks on any independent-thinking Zimbabweans, especially with disingenuous accusations of them being influenced by “foreign forces” (who always happen to be Western powers).
There can be no denying it, but it is clear that the Zimbabwe authorities have become furiously opposed to a truly educated populace – who have proven an excruciating thorn in the regime’s side, by our constant exposure and questioning of their gravely flawed policies, mismanagement, incompetence, brutal repression of the citizenry, bastardization of the constitution, and weaponization of the law for their own power-greed ambitions, and rampant corrupt tendencies.
For an administration caught in such an unenviable and uncomfortable position, I am sure, they now regret educating us, and would rather they had a pliable and agreeable citizenry – who agrees with everything they are taught and told, and will never question (or, not even posses the ability to perceive) any wrongdoing by those in power.
This then explains why I honestly suspect that the destruction of our education system, and the subsequent lowering of standards, is a well-planned willful and deliberate strategy to disempower and disenfranchise the people of Zimbabwe – all with the goal of corruptly ruling the country with impunity.
Otherwise, how else can one explain the concerted efforts by the regime in constantly demeaning and insulting our intelligence, by this now dreary and unbelievable broken-record accusation that any questioning and resistance to its misrule is influenced by some “foreign forces” (who harbor an illegal regime change agenda, by tarnishing the image of the country’s leadership)?
What serious and sincere person would actually believe that Zimbabweans need to be told by some American ambassador that, for instance, the recently rushed amendments to the country’s Constitution – and the subsequent extension of the then Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s term of office, in spite of reaching his retirement age of seventy (70) years on 15 May 2021 – were illegal and unconstitutional?
Does Brian Nichols (US ambassador to Zimbabwe) honestly, have to give me a call (or send me a message) to tell me something like that – yet, I have a copy of the Constitution right next to me, and can read and understand it pretty efficiently…thanks to the education I received from this same government in the 1980s and 1990s?
What then can we expect from esteemed members of the country’s high court, whom the minister of justice Ziyambi Ziyambi decided to spew toxic vitriol on – in a childish tantrum fit – after they outrightly rejected the government’s shameful attempts to violate the country’s sacrosanct supreme law?
Such uncreative lies and accusations do not hold water any longer with the majority of the population – as most can also see what we are seeing, even though they may choose to be quiet, since one’s safety can never be guaranteed after speaking out in this dictatorship.
Instead, Zimbabwe’s ruling elite is better advised to change its devious wayward and rogue ways, by genuinely addressing, and focusing on, the citizens’ plight and suffering – instead of trying to hide their nefarious and self-centered agendas behind a finger.
We can clearly see what they are doing, and will never need some American, or British, ambassador or official to tell us (or pay us) that we are being subjugated by a regime that has no qualms, whatsoever, riding roughshod over its own citizenry – as such statements purely serve as an insult not only on the population, but also the government’s own education system that they always find immense pleasure in boasting about.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and, political commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263733399640, or email: email@example.com