No more school fees, Zimbabwe government to roll-out free education in 2023?

Old newspaper cuts with headlines screaming “FREE EDUCATION NEXT YEAR” have been shared thousands of times on Zimbabwe social media platforms.  This comes after social welfare minister Paul Mavima, repeated in July a “free education for all next year” promise first made by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2018 in reference to 2019 but is yet to be implemented.

The pledge, which government is yet to honour in four years, has in the past been trolled by parents, teachers unions and the opposition.

This year, reportedly Mnangagwa repeated the promise at the Independence celebrations in Bulawayo on April 18, almost four years after he made it on December 22, 2018.

However, Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) president, Obert Masaraure said early this year Mnangagwa’s government should be ashamed of its failure to adhere to the Education Act and his promises.

“Free education should no longer be promised because the constitution is clear about what government should do. It is an obligation it has shamefully negated over years,” said Masaraure.

“We are not so patient as to have to wait up till 2023 for free education, we demand it now, especially considering the levels of poverty in Zimbabwe; people can no longer afford to pay fees.

“Such utterances are disappointing, as this is an issue which politicians cannot use to campaign. They should dump their neo-liberal policies of cutting funding to such important sectors, and not continue politicking.”

Meanwhile, drunkards and high spenders have been joking on social media that this festive time they are going to spend cash until their bank accounts are empty because they do not need to worry about paying school fees.