Minister heckled over school fees

via Minister heckled over school fees 24 August 2014

CHEGUTU residents on Saturday heckled Education Minister  Lazarus Dokora after he described parents who are failing to pay school fees for their children as criminals and ordered headmasters to drag them to the courts.

Dokora was heckled as he addressed a constituency consultative meeting organised by local MP Dexter Nduna.

“If you have a child, it is your responsibility to pay levy for the child. Failure to do that is criminal and I told headmasters to take such people and report them to authorities,” the minister said.

Angry residents accused the minister of showing no sympathy for constituents struggling to cope in a difficult economy with Chegutu among the country’s worst affected areas.

Chegutu is now a ghost town following the closure of David Whitehead, which was the major local employer, and now residents are depending on vending and other menial activities for survival

Elsewhere around the country, ordinary Zimbabewans are struggling to survive with unemployment said to be more than 80 percent and government admitting most people have been turned into vendors.

But Dokora said if people choose to have children, then they have a responsibility to look after them.

“Parents have a responsibility to take care of their children because it’s you who gave birth to these children. I don’t remember saying education is for free,” the minister insisted.

“Take that list of parents who don’t want to pay to the magistrate’s court so that they are called one by one and swear to God that they will pay the fees. You cannot blame the headmasters for that.”

But his statement did not go down well with parents who shouted that the minister was “mad”.

Anopenga uyu! Tipeyi mabasa, hatina zvekuita (He is insane, he must give us jobs; we have nothing to do),” the villagers said before breaking into a song “hatidi zvemadhisinyongoro (we don’t want confusion).

Dokora however, hit back saying: “There is nothing for free”, angering the parents even more.

But the minister added: “Whatever you say, this is what we are telling you. How are you surviving now?”


  • comment-avatar
    Mapingu 8 years ago

    Ichokwadi, inga mumwe muimbi anomukurumbira muZim akaimba ‘…..Vamwe vakaudzwa hondo nemugwere wepfungwa ….’

    Yes, we all know kuti this Dokora mugwere wepfunga as reflected in most of his deeds & words. Asi, mukupenga kwake ikoko apa akataura chokwadi. Dzingadzi inhema here kuti vabereki munofanigwa kuchengeta mhuri dzenyu? Kuchengeta, mhuri mazuvano paupenyu bwatavakurarama kungagoreveyi kana kukasasanganisira kubhadharira vana venyu mari dzezvikoro – vendevo kumaCollege nekumaUniversity zvinoita vana Bona Mugabe ka. Shure shure munofunga madhona angakuitirayi zvose izvozvo? Asi vanhu veZimbabwe matovazvirema pakufunga kanhi veduwee?

    Bhadharirayi venyu, apa ari 100% right Dokora kunyangwe ari mupengo zvake. Saka, imi shure munoda kuti vana venyu vabharigwe chikoro nani? Imi mungoita basa rokumitisana chete nevakadzi venyu musingadi maresponsibilities emabasa enyu iwayo munofunga zvinoita izvozvo? Tibvireyi apo! Uzvaaa, Minister DOKORA

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    JRR56 8 years ago

    One minister says dont use contraception and be fruitfull. This one says if you have children pay for them even if you have no income and jobs. Typical of Zimbabwe today!

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    jkaseke 8 years ago

    Thumbs up to the minister, that is the most sensible thing he has ever said. Why do people bear childen if they cannot fend for them? Bearing chidren comes with a responsibility. Zimbabwe will always be behind in terms of quality of life ws long as people possess and propagate the tired mentality of laying blame on government for things they are solely responsible for. Itai vana vamunokwanisa kuriritira. Period.

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    Che'guevara 8 years ago

    Mapingu et al think before you churn your vitriol on these parents. They never said they want Dokora or the Govt to pay for their children’s school fees but they said they want jobs. Those kids were not born in 2013 or 14 when jobs were available and the economy was promising. Dont talk of the contraceptive rubbish and being irresponsible. These are sensible parents who had plans, savings and even education insurance policies for their children but the Dokoras et al through all their hopes down the drain. Inflation ate their savings and insurances, company closures and retrenchments took away means and ways of survival and you blame the parents and support these thieving and abusive poloticians, my foot. I dont want to get emotional but I bet something is wrong with you guys. The parents are right.

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    mutakura 8 years ago

    Ikaseke and mapingu muri zvirima mufungwa. How can these two imbeciles fail to appreciate the serious problems faced by over 90% of people in this country. We have a minister who is extremely insensitive to the plight faced by parents. Much as they may want to pay the fees, the truth is people have been reduced to paupers. Zimbabwean parents know the value of education but they just dont have the money- a fact these three clowns fail to appreciate

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    I think Dokora is the worst thing that could have happened to education in Zimbabwe. He is vile, unsympathetic, unempathetic and disrespectful. There was absolutely no need to speak in the manner in which he spoke about defaulting parents. NOONE ASKED THIS MONSTER OF A MINISTER TO PAY FEES!!! The problems parents are facing are complex and few are of their own making. It falls on responsible authorities to come up with constructive ways to help parents. I know a lot of parents who are not only looking after their own children but children of relatives who have passed on as a result of AIDS.I also know of children who have no parents and are somehow supporting themselves through school.

    THe Minister is irresponsible and has a jaundiced if not myopic view of the picture surrounding the failure to pay fees. Please have some humanity. Stop speaking TO people. Speak WITH people instead.

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    avenger/revenger 8 years ago

    His brats attend expensive schools in the diaspora with looted wealth.

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    mujibha 8 years ago

    dokora urimboko yemunhu, the rule of a whiteman was 1000% better than the rule of u black idiots. these parents they didn’t refuse to pay fees for their kids, how can they manage fees without jobs. dokora, musoro wakazara mvura.

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    Tinomunamataishe 8 years ago

    Dokora’s comments just shows that he is so immature, insensitive and very much detached from the real world.

    Yes, I agree that all parents have responsibilities over their children’s welfare but the government also has responsibilities over its people especially the children.

    Chegutu was once a thriving community with David Whitehead working and citrus and other farms around it creating employment. Dokora’s party destroyed all that and now what’s left of Chegutu is just a shell.

    These parents like most parents anywhere in the world would grab an opportunity to work if they got it but Dokora’s government’s policies and rampant corruption has made everybody either a beggar or a vendor whilst Dokora and company have become filthy rich and so detached from reality it’s not fun.

    This is a government so devoid of ideas and has abdicated its own responsibilities. He should look at how irresponsible his government before looking at anybody.

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    In many countries today the state pays for children’s education and that is why they say education is compulsory. The wealth of the country is properly distributed and big efforts are made for accountability as opposed to blind loyalty to an individual.