By Jacob Mafume (MDC National Spokesperson)
“He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him”
The above is a direct quote from the 3rd United States President Thomas Jefferson, the MDC views his assertion to be an apt description of Dambudzo Mnangagwa and Zanu PF’s handling of the Zimbabwean crisis.
So many lies have been told about the doctors – they were either not qualified or just interns, the next moment they had to save lives, they were also selfish and very much replaceable.
The next thing all their grievances had been addressed, a few hours later a vacation had been canceled to solve the impasse in the middle of that the someone’s wife claims victory for successfully breaking the deadlock yet the doctors said they had not agreed on anything.
A day later the government announced that another session of negotiation had been convened successfully breaking the impasse with the doctors agreeing to go back to work, once again the Medical Practitioners denied signing anything of sorts neither had they been represented in the meeting.
Just like in President Jefferson’s statement the lies have been allowed to be habitual, they are being told without effort and the nation has ceased to care even when the truth will be told.
We, in the MDC, finds this to be dangerous, it is slippery ground for the reconstruction of the social contract which has irretrievably broken down.
What kind of men and women will lie to a dying man that he would soon be saved by a doctor or to a mother watching helplessly while their child is choking?
Adding to the chaos already existing in the health sector, is the chaos the MDC has witnessed in the education sector these past few days.
Some schools are charging schools fees in forex while others have decided on a hybrid of both the local currency and US dollars.
It is clear that it has been left to the headmasters or principals to juggle and find a way around recurrent expenditure of the schools they run.
In other words there is no National leadership.
In that kind of scenario who needs a government?
The government cannot explain how parents are supposed to legally source the US dollars, the budget even worsens the situation demanding tax in US yet criminalising forex exchange through another law.
Due to the high inflation situation, school uniforms have gone beyond the pockets of most parents and in most instances uniforms are not even available.
It is just chaos, we sympathise with the parents and the students who are both affected by the situation all of Zanu PF’s making.
Another storm is brewing, teachers have already camped in Africa Unity Square raising concerns on the increasing cost of living, working conditions necessitating salary adjustments specifically that the salary be paid in US dollars.
Instead of negotiating with the striking teachers, 9 teachers from Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union have been arrested again based on a lie that they have breached laws of law and order when the law allows them to petition without clearance from the police.
We condemn these arrests and suggest that the following must urgently happen:
1. All civil servants must be paid in US dollars
2. The chaos around the currency must be addressed to ensure clarity on school fees
3. Prioritise the ending of chaos in the health sector, sincere negotiations must be done, none state actors must not be involved and all essentials must be supplied
4. Reduce the teacher to pupil ratio by committing to adequate recruitment of teachers,3000 posts advertised are not enough.
5. ARTUZ leadership must be released unconditionally; a labour dispute is not a criminal matter.