Where is the $2bn released for teachers’ children school fees?

IS there anything, something our government says and honours? Why is it that our government sees school fees payment as a non-priority when schools run on fees agreed at annual general meetings (AGMs) and not grants from government?

Why is our government registering millions of children under the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) programme and it doesn’t pay or when it pays, it is when the money has lost value or a matter of depositing useless RTGS into school accounts?

Is our government serious with schools development and delivery of excellent education or it is out to destroy schools where children from poor backgrounds go?

A lot of rural schools at their AGMs pegged their fees in accordance with the prevailing exchange rate. At the beginning of the year, $5 000 was equivalent to US$30.

Now $5 000 is equivalent to US$10, meaning schools have lost US$20 to inflation. Even using the new rate, government has still not paid for the BEAM beneficiaries.

What it means is government will pay when $5 000 will be equivalent to US$2 or US$4, meaning schools will have lost over US$20, but are still expected to achieve what was budgeted for at the AGMs that took place early this year.

Most government or council-run schools have dilapidated infrastructure. They do not have money to carry out any improvements or rehabilitations of the current infrastructure.

Many of these schools are witnessing ballooning enrolment figures, meaning a lot of children are exposed to the vagaries of the weather as they take classes outside classrooms.

This is a development the government is not helping if it continues registering children for a BEAM programme it does not support.

It’s almost a month now since government released a statement saying it had released over US$2 billion for payment of school fees, but nothing has been deposited into any school account.

To Social Welfare minister Paul Mavima and his Primary and Secondary Education counterpart Evelyn Ndlovu, where is this money? Is this not destroying our education system?

How will administrators run schools that will achieve good results without resources? Are you aware that some schools have nearly every student registered under BEAM because of political interference?

I urge President Emmerson Mnangagwa to intervene and order the release of the BEAM funds into school accounts so that they can function properly.

Schools can’t breathe, especially those in rural areas where BEAM has bigger numbers or nearly the whole school.Isaac Mupinyuri

Zec must release details on second voter blitz

AS a build-up towards gathering credible information on the second phase of the voter registration process and as part of the commitment to support democratic development and promote credible, transparent and accountable electoral processes in Zimbabwe, the Election Resource Centre (ERC) and Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) observed the second phase of the biometric voter registration (BVR) blitz on an independent and non-partisan basis for all Zimbabweans.

The joint observation effort served to provide citizens and key stakeholders with accurate, independent, timely and credible information on the BVR blitz process.

ERC and Zesn’s further objective was to ensure the 2022 BVR blitz exercise was transparent, inclusive and accountable as well as in conformity with regional and international best practices.

Before the commencement of the Phase 2 registration blitz, the Registrar-General, began a national identity document (ID card) issuance blitz on April 1, 2022.

This was 10 days before the second BVR blitz which was to begin on April 11, 2022.

The national ID blitz will run until September 2022 in all provinces across the country.

A national ID is an important document for one to register as a voter during the voter registration process.

ERC, Zesn and other stakeholders contend that without the issuance of IDs a large group of eligible Zimbabweans will be disenfranchised.

In the course of Phase 2 of the BVR blitz, ERC and Zesn experienced minor challenges with duly accredited observers being asked to report to the district election officer to get additional permission before being permitted to observe.

For example, observers stationed in Gutu North, Bikita East and Gokwe Kana constituencies were requested to first report to the district elections officer, despite having an official and valid Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) accreditation badge.

These observers were only granted permission to observe after ERC and Zesn’s intervention.

Overall, reports from ERC and Zesn observers from all 207 constituencies show that the registration of voters took place across the entire country.

There were a limited number of challenges experienced, such as; some centres did not open as published in the media, observers being denied access to some of the registration centres, or issues with BVR kits not properly functioning, but these were few.

Observers also reported low levels of voter education and awareness-raising in a number of constituencies.

Unlike in the first phase of the blitz voter registration, observers reported that there were less challenges within the broader political environment surrounding voter registration, such as traditional leaders and civil servants taking part in partisan activities as well as reports of violence and intimidation.

Similar to Phase 1, ERC and Zesn call upon Zec to release detailed statistics on the Phase 2 voter registration blitz, which includes the number of individuals registered per day per registration centre broken down by gender and including the number of persons with disabilities.

This information should be readily available; such information is routinely provided by credible election management bodies; and doing so is in line with the best principles of open election data .

Without this information, Zimbabweans cannot determine for themselves if Phase 2 of the voter registration blitz has met their expectations or whether additional opportunities are needed to ensure all eligible citizens have a meaningful opportunity to newly register or update their registration information.ERC

Zanu PF cell meetings a big flop
THE Zanu PF cell day held last Saturday proved to be a monumental flop.

Zanu PF has now been reduced to rubbles. The opposition must snatch this opportunity and be ready to govern.

The popularity rating has been shrinking at an alarming rate since 2000.

It looks like the people are so much disgruntled on the ground than before and Zanu PF has gone back to the 2008 levels.

There are many factors which have contributed to this fallout within the revolutionary party.

The major ones being an economy that is more elitist that has been serving just a few powerful individuals and their families.

Factionalism is another factor which has not spared the organisation. It is tearing and haunting the party.

There seems to be elements of G40 which are so alive, kicking and trying to wrest power from the fading Team Lacoste. The party has failed to unite its own people.

The biggest problem which the country is currently facing is emanating from this disjointed Zanu PF government, which is always fighting for its own survival than the whole nation.

The ruling party has lost its glory days. This has forced it to abdicate its governance duties and to concentrate on giving a lifeline to the lifeless regime.

It is a catastrophe for a government of the day to spend much of its time abusing State funds through pouring government resources to party business with the aim of consolidating power and forgetting that they have a national mandate to serve the nation.

On the other hand, the opposition is not leaving any stone unturned trying to canvass for more support from both the urban and rural areas.

This has left the revolutionary party in panic mode.

Government leaders have left the country on autopilot to concentrate on retaining power.

All these cell meetings are just a sheer waste of time and resources.

Last Saturday’s meetings flopped, with less than a million supporters attending out of a possible 2,5 million based on
50 000 cells and 50 members per cell.

These cell meetings actually don’t bring any value to the majority of Zimbabweans who are suffering because of Zanu PF misrule.

Zanu PF has forgotten that it is in power to run the country not to play politics, torture, abduct, terrorise, intimidate, kill, frustrate the opposition and manipulate votes.

Instead of fixing the economy, a group of old men is planning on how they can silence the suffering masses who attempt to voice out.

While pursuing that myopic agenda, the country is burning. We have a leadership vacuum.Leonard Koni

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