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ED backtracks on free education

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ED backtracks on free education

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PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday appeared to be backtracking on his government’s pledge to roll out free education, saying only the vulnerable and people with disabilities would be catered for.
Mnangagwa told hundreds of schoolchildren drawn from all the country’s provinces during a pre-Independence children’s party held in Mt Darwin that only disadvantaged and children with disabilities would receive government support.
“My government will ensure policies and programmes that help the livelihoods of our children; this includes access to quality education, from different backgrounds, arts and culture,” he said.
“My government will make resources available for disadvantaged children in primary and secondary schools including those with disabilities, this will lead to the full enjoyment of our independence by young people.”
Government, driven by Zanu PF’s 2018 election manifesto, had pledged to roll out free education for all — a promise which has proved difficult to deliver. Mnangagwa yesterday, however committed to continue providing scholarships.

“The national presidential scholarship is supporting talented and underprivileged children so that they can also go to universities, I also thank other countries who are offering scholarships to our people,” he said.
In line with this year’s independence theme: Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo, Mnangagwa called on schoolchildren not to aspire to leave the country for the West.
“Britain was built by the British, China was built by the Chinese, Germany by the Germans, Zimbabwe should be built by Zimbabweans.  Don’t aspire to go to those countries built by others, stay here and build your own country,” Mnangagwa said.

Many Zimbabweans have fled the country for greener pastures in the wake of a collapsing local economy.

The President also indicated that the country’s vast minerals were well-placed to give the nation a better footing in development.
“We have those animals which fly, crawl, we have rivers, snakes, crocodile’s, not me, but the real ones and minerals, so we must develop our country,” he said.
Over the past few weeks, Zimbabwe has, however, been in the news over gold smuggling and money laundering, a subject Mnangagwa has completely avoided.
The nation today celebrates 43 years of independence ahead of general elections in a few months’ time.

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