Source: ‘Civil servants need national pledge’ | The Herald May 6, 2016
A programme similar to the recently introduced national pledge in schools should be developed for civil servants so that they become patriotic and service oriented, Home Affairs Deputy Minister Cde Obedingwa Mguni said yesterday.
He said the mindset of some civil servants had been poisoned by the 2008 economic hardships and needed to be socially re-engineered.
“After that 2008 saga we see that some people within the Government sector — their mindset — is no longer on serving, but on how much they get from a transaction. Patriotism is gone,” he said.
“It must be revived. Maybe something like what the children are reciting needs to be designed. The national pledge should not only be a song, but should infuse a sense of patriotism among our people.”
He said national pledge was also a corruption fighting tool as it would start moulding people from the grassroots.
“The national pledge like the national youth service, is a corruption fighting tool that also builds patriotism. There are some people who perpetuate corruption to render the country ungovernable,” he said.
He said developed countries anchored their success on a patriotic citizenry that appreciated the value of service to one’s country.
Cde Mguni said some civil servants were creating red tape to coerce people into paying for a service that should offered for free.
“National pledge is done to show that you pledge loyalty to your country and that you are committed to offer quality service to the citizenry,” he said.
A teacher at Chemagamba High School in Chinhoyi, said the national pledge was good as it infused discipline and focus on children.
“Some people oppose an idea for the sake of it but in my view there is nothing wrong at all with the national pledge because it will give us people who are prepared to work for their country in future,” said the teacher who preferred anonymity for professional reasons.
However, others said sections of the national pledge violated their religious beliefs and opposed the idea of saluting the flag.
Government introduced national pledge in schools this term and was launched in learning institutions nationwide.
Teachers in Beitbridge also expressed mixed feeling feelings over the introductions of the national pledge in schools.
A teacher at Vhembe High School in the border town said the national pledge would help enlighten children who were future leaders on the ethos and values of being a true and patriotic Zimbabwean.
“We started implementing the pledge in the first term this year and I don’t see anything wrong with encouraging children about the founding values of Zimbabwe and to be proud of their identity. Actually its (national pledge) introduction was long overdue,” said the teacher.
Another teacher at St Mary’s Secondary said the pledge would instil a sense of pride in the children.
A teacher at a school in Masvingo who declined to be named said some teachers, parents and guardians who made noise on the national pledge needed counselling.
“Why are they complaining about this pledge, children memorise and recite poems, songs, prayers as part of learning. They will make better choices when they grow up.”
Some teachers in Mutare said the current noise being raised against the recently launched national pledge was a direct result of the failure by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to consult all stakeholders.
The Zimbabwe Rural Teachers Union president, Mr Martin Chaburumunda, said although they were in full support of the pledge, they differed and opposed the way it was introduced.
“Right now most teachers are not well versed with the pledge and you appear a fool in front of the pupils you are supposed to lead in the recitation. If they had consulted other stakeholders, there will be no noise.
“As a union, we feel that it was not proper to introduce the national pledge to the people via a Press conference. When we changed our National Anthem from Ishe Komborerai Africa to the current one every Zimbabwean was given an opportunity to compose his or her own and it was so exciting and up to now everyone is proud of that anthem.”