Harvest of Thorns Part One – Education

Over the years many have predicted the collapse of the Zimbabwean economy. However, the economy seemed to be able to defy the doomsayers and we all remarked on the resilience of both the country and its people. But the real collapse has now arrived. In this edition of Zimbabwe in Pictures newsletter– the first in a series called Harvest of Thorns – we look at the education sector and show how things have fallen apart.
On October 16 2008 – just 30 days after the signing of what some termed a historic deal – our political leaders were back at the Rainbow Towers in Harare – and not for a drink. On the agenda was the allocation of government ministries amongst the three parties – MDC (Tsvangirayi), MDC (Mutambara) and ZANU PF. True to character, Mr. Mugabe and ZANU were now reneging on the deal. Giving up power when all you ever known in your adult life is to be THE leader is heart-wrenching – if you do actually have a heart. So now there we were – warming the bar stools of the Rainbow Towers and buying whisky in greenbacks (oh the mighty dollar!) And all around Zimbabwe, people were saddled with the harvest of thorns Mr. Mugabe had bequeathed us. The thorns had grown in the place that Zimbabwean parents value most – the school yard.

A Zimbo will sell all her cattle to send that little one through school. And if now the cattle were gone and the school was amountain of rubble what would she do?At one of the state primary/preparatory schools that was still functional, the parents were not only paying the teachers’ salaries but they had gone further and raised foreign currency to enable the teachers to travel to South Africa for grocery shopping! On top of that the parents had met with the principal of a well-established high school to ensure that those learners moving to grade 8/form one were guaranteed of places. Look, reader, for the greater part of the 80s and 90s, we declared that politics was crap and we went on with our dirty little lives just trying to get that promotion, a company car and move to Marlbourough enroute to Borrowdale. Now we have discovered, rather late, that politics is too important to leave to politicians – especially to
a geriatric and deranged megalomaniac…

The bricks have fallen
We shall rebuild with dressed stone


Download Edition 14 HERE or View the Slideshow below

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