The students in Zimbabwe’s institutions of higher learning have called on the Government of National Unity to take serious and urgent steps to resolve the funding crisis. Over 50000 young careers are on the verge of crumpling as a result of the failure by the Ministry of Higher Education to pay funds for the cadetship support scheme on which these students depend.
There have been unproductive haggling between the treasury and the Ministry of Higher Education that has negatively impacted on innocent students’ lives. The Ministry of Finance has allocated over 60 million for the funding schemes – the Cadetship and the Grants &Loan Schemes. The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education has however decided to shelve the Grants and loans scheme in preference of the Cadetship which it has grossly politicized for expediency.
Institutions of higher learning have however perennially complained over the non-payment of moneys for the students on cadetship by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, which has tilted the barrel at the Ministry of Finance.
The Cadetship, Grants & Loans and the Zanu Pf subbotage
The Ministry of Higher Hducation, which is in the hands of Zanu Pf, has been on the fore of sabotaging policy. The students demanded Grants and Loans , to which the Ministry of Finance responded by making a budgetary allocation that was voted for in parliament. The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education decided to cling on to the scandalous Cadetship Scheme which has been marred with gross irregularities and used by Zanu Pf for political convenience - to try to win back the students’ hearts.
The Treasury has been in a perpetual fix over slow-to-non trickling in of revenue from several line ministries –most if which are in the hands of Zanu Pf. The Ministry of Mines in particular has made the much depended upon diamond revenue elusive to the treasury which has been under pressure –political or otherwise - from other ministry over disbursement of funds.
The Ministry of Higher Education has made unusual noise over the cadetship funds, in frantic attempts to turn the students against the Minister of Finance Tendai Biti and hopefully his party MDC.
It has been Zanu pf’s culture of creating chaos and crisis with the wit of wanting to come in as saviors.
There is every reason to strongly suspect that they will chip in at some point with loots from diamonds through other channels and pour them in to the Colleges and appear all time messiahs.
Zanu Pf must stop gambling with people’s lives
The Minister of Finance is having sleepless nights over securing of moneys for higher education funding; workers salaries, bonuses; and a whole lot of other government business.
Zanu Pf has been of the fore of inciting various sectors of the society to rebel against the Minister. Zanu pf has been there, done damage. It sniveled for production oriented ministries which feed the treasury and got almost all of them. There have been outcries from the treasury over revenue sabotage and Zanu Pf wants it to sound as if there is a money printing press at the treasury .
Reorient your priorities, PLEASE
There is greater need for the government to urgently refocus its spending priorities towards delivery of services to the people. Higher education and skills development is one of the crucial priority areas that the government should focus on as this constitute the broader source of human capital – if our production capacity is to be meaningfully revived.
The players in government have been on record of luxury spending and globe-trotting at the expense of government business and the unnecessary egocentrism should cease.