Education minister Lazarus Dokora yesterday angered Chegutu residents when he ordered headmasters to report parents who fail to pay school fees to the courts.
BY MOSES MATENGA
Dokora was addressing a constituency consultative meeting organised by local MP Dexter Nduna when he threatened parents who had asked him what could be done to assist their children to go to school in the wake of the economic crisis that has seen companies closing.
Nduna told Dokora that parents were affected by lack of jobs and industries in Chegutu while schools were sending away children for failure to pay fees.
Dokora’s response angered parents who heckled him, accusing the minister of being insensitive to their genuine plight.
“Parents have a responsibility to take care of their children because it’s you who gave birth to these children,” Dokora said.
“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.
“If you are in rural areas, report to local headmen. I don’t remember saying education is for free. Take that list of parents who don’t want to pay to the magistrates 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.”
Parents interjected asking the Zanu PF politburo member: “Where do we get the money? There are no factories here so where do you think we get the money?”
Dokora however hit back saying: “There is nothing for free”, angering the parents even more.
Parents showed their frustrations by heckling Dokora.
“Whatever you say, this is what we are telling you. How are you surviving now?” Dokora asked.
Parents said they were not satisfied with Dokora’s response with some demanding that the Education minister provide a proper response to them.