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Questions students should have asked

STUDENTS at Moleli High School and throughout Zimbabwe must have been baffled by President Mugabe’s announcement that government would be demanding 50% of shares in the country’s mining sector.

, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Hundreds of thousands of students will be joining the job market at the end of the year. They have brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, etc who left school before them and are still out of work for the last five years or more. With unemployment standing at 70%, they have good reason to be worried.

Even those students who are due back at school next year must be worried too. They know many of their fellow students have stopped school because their parents or guardians could no longer pay the ever-rising fees. They must be worried whether their education too will be cut short for the same reason.

President Mugabe’s announcement will not create any new jobs. This Zanu PF government is making the same mistakes it made in 1980s – spend vast sums of money buying private companies like Zupco. The money would have been better spent on new business ventures and thus expanding the country’s economic base and creating more job opportunities.

In the 1980s at least government had the money to buy out private companies. Today the government is stone broke. The mine owners are really being put in an impossible position where they are forced to have a business partner they do not want or need, sell at give away share-prices and be paid near worthless Zimbabwe dollars!

No doubt Zanu PF cronies will soon be running the country’s mines. They are the only people who are to benefit from this hostile takeover of the mines. The nation can now look forward to subsidising mines to hide their poor performance as has happened with Zupco, Zesa, NRZ, Zisco, etc.

It is interesting that the same week President Mugabe was announcing his government’s plans to buy shares in all the country’s mines, the same government was also announcing it would be spending billions of dollars paying subsidies to its failed past ventures.

Over-expenditure and the complete lack of fiscal discipline are the root causes of the country’s hyper inflation. Neither the money to buy the mine shares nor subsidies for Zupco, Zesa, etc were ever budgeted for. Inflation is bound to soar again and many more families will struggle to pay for their basic needs like food and shelter. A good education, health care, etc are, to an ever increasing number of Zimbabweans, luxury items.

“Mr President, how will the buying of 50% of existing mines help us (the school-leavers) get jobs and the parents to pay next year’s school fees?” the students should have asked.

Wilbert Mukori,


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