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.
“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.