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Home | Zimbabwe | Mugabe and Tsvangirai govt waste over $30 million in foreign travel and $20 million in luxury cars

Mugabe and Tsvangirai govt waste over $30 million in foreign travel and $20 million in luxury cars

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For a man who spends a fortune sending his children to high-end overseas colleges, it came as a shock for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to see schoolchildren sharing “classrooms” with livestock.

Clad in a red designer shirt, a gold-coated watch on the left wrist and donning stylish sunglasses, Tsvangirai appeared lost when he came face-to-face with the reality of poverty and under development that rural folk grapple with on a daily basis.

More than two years after the pomp and fan-fare that greeted the formation of the now fragile inclusive government, pupils at Maodzwa Primary School in Mashonaland Central’s Mazowe Central constituency have to endure the smell of raw cow dung as they go about their classes.

The conditions at this cattle pen-cum-school are at variance with the top-notch learning institutions attended by children of top government officials such as Tsvangirai and his partner President Robert Mugabe.

So astonished was Tsvangirai that he could not help but yell at an aide: “Huya uone zvirimuno (Come and witness this).” as he was negotiating his way round rows of cow dung in what doubled as a classroom.

All this time, villagers that had gathered for Tsvangirai’s tour appeared mesmerised with Tsvangirai’s convoy of flashy cars.

Missing from the convoy was Tsvangirai’s top-of-the range official Mercedes Benz.

He had parked it very far from the school after his advance team warned him of the treacherous nature of the road ahead.

At Maodzwa Primary School, children as young as 10 were equally daring with the truth to the former trade unionist whose major handicap, according to supporters, is to share power with Mugabe’s anti-reform Zanu PF party.

While performing dazzling traditional dances for Tsvangirai and his entourage, the children told the Premier that his government had so far failed.

“Imomu muchatobuda president we Nyika (It is possible for a president to emerge from such a place),”  Tsvangirai had earlier on tried to placate them.

But the children appeared to demand more concrete action from Tsvangirai and his government.

“Chirimo zvochosvika. Tonayiwa here muripo (Can we get into the rainy season without a roof over our heads when you are there?) Please help us,” pleaded one of the pupils, bare foot like the rest of her school mates.

While Mugabe, Tsvangirai and their ministers have gobbled over $30 million in foreign travel and another $20 million in luxury cars, pupils at schools such as Maodzwa learn in mud structures, have neither desks nor textbooks and have to make do with the scantiest of resources.

Educationists say the largesse shown by coalition government partners when it comes to catering for their own swanky tastes makes Finance Minister Tendai Biti’s statements about government being broke hollow.

Addressing villagers later at the official opening of a clinic in the same constituency, Tsvangirai bemoaned the poor state of education sector to lack of investment since independence in 1980.

“Surely, after 31 years (of independence) toita chikoro chekuti vana nemombe zvino vogara pamwe chete (Surely we can’t have a situation where children’s classrooms double as kraals). This is terrible,” said Tsvangirai.

Yet, as the Premier’s motorcade sped away raising a wave of dust, villagers were left with no hope for the future, particularly as Mugabe and Tsvangirai’s infighting escalates.

 
 
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