By Kenneth Moyo |
Zimbabwean state authorities say local people can now offer livestock like goats or perform some work at schools as a way of paying school fees for children.Primary Education Minister Lazarus Dokora and the ministry’s permanent secretary Sylvia Utete Masango said that this can be done by parents failing to raise cash in an economy hard-hit by crippling money shortages.
“This move has set social media sphere on fire with some people claiming that the government has crippled all operations in the country, forcing it to come up with an idea of batter trade in schools.”
Dokora is quoted by the newspaper as saying schools should be flexible and ensure that people without cash can either pay fees in the form of livestock or offer their services to school authorities. “On the issue of livestock, the community has to arrange a market where everyone participates; from the school authorities, local leadership and parents themselves to avoid being duped.”
His sentiments were echoed by Utete Masango who said, “In terms of valuation, school heads will stand in for the primary and secondary education ministry and school development committee members for parents. They will jointly determine the value of livestock, and can then use the money realized to upgrade school infrastructure or help with agriculture.”
This move has set the social media sphere on fire with some people claiming that the government has crippled all operations in the country, forcing it to come up with an idea of batter trade in schools.
Social media has met the goats-for-fees idea with a mixture of scorn and gallows humour. Zimbabwean novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga tweeted “If we had been told in 1970 ‘We are fighting to introduce cattle and goats as currency. Please help & die for this’ what would we have said?”; while another Twitter user – Innocent Mazombe, tweeted -Can I get a job as a goat evaluator?”
This development follows the recent tabling of a bill in parliament to direct banks to accept livestock as collateral for cash loans to informal businesses. The Movable Property Security Interests bill, if passed, will allow livestock and household appliances to be acceptable as collateral after evaluation and registration by the central bank.
Cash shortages hit Zimbabwe last year after the government threatened to grab all foreign companies operating in the country under the Indigenisation and Empowerment Law.Banks in Zimbabwe were compelled to reduce withdrawal bank limits for customers to as low as US$40