MORE than 100 demonstrators, most of them of school-going age, yesterday demanded the ouster of Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora, accusing him of failing to run the education sector by advocating for anti-poor policies.
BY MOSES MATENGA
Dokora is being accused of promoting unpopular policies including his push for Grade 7 pupils to pay examination fees, hiking examination fees for Ordinary Level students and introducing foreign languages at schools.
Grade 7 pupils will now pay $3 per subject, while “O” Level fees have been increased from $13 to $15.
The demonstration started from the organisers’ ZimRights offices, to Chester House and to the regional education offices where they handed over a petition for onward transmission to President Robert Mugabe, Cabinet, Parliament, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and Dokora.
An official in the ministry, Christopher Kateera, received the petition and promised the demonstrators that he would hand it over to his superiors.
The demonstrators sang and chanted slogans, demanding the ouster of Dokora and a relook into some of his policies before they were addressed by ZimRights national director Okay Machisa.
“Dokora must go now. You have failed, you have betrayed us. No Grade 7 examination fees. Dokora, you want Chinese in schools, what about Tonga?” some of the placards the demonstrators carried read.
Machisa said the petition would also be taken to Mugabe and Parliament to look into the concerns raised.
“We now ask the regional director to come down and we hand over our petition. It’s not his, it’s for the minister,” he said.
When contacted for comment, Dokora was emotional over the matter, claiming it was government policy he was implementing before hanging up.
“Hey you, these are not my things. I am not implementing my family policies here. Talk to the communications officer in the ministry,” Dokora said. – Newsday