Minister Dokora’s strategy: I pray it does not succeed in Zimbabwe
By Peter Makotose
The National Pledge [NP] introduced by the Zimbabwean Minister of Primary and Secondary Education reads;
Almighty God, in whose hands our future lies, I salute the National flag. United in our diversity by common desire for freedom, justice and equality. Respecting the brave fathers and mothers who lost lives in the Chimurenga/Umvukela and national liberation struggles. We are proud inheritors of our national resources. We are proud creators and participants in our vibrant traditions and cultures. We commit to honesty and the dignity of hard work.
Alice Ann Bailey was an English writer who wrote extensively on religion and is credited with introducing the tern “ New Age”. She was born to an Anglican family, did evangelical work in the army and later moved to America after marrying her Indian husband.
Unfortunately their marriage suffered a shipwreck and she pushed for a divorce. In her writings Alice Bailey came up with a ten-point charter plan to attack Christianity. I will not go into detail with the ten-point charter to avoid diverting from the issue at hand but will just pick some of her points that have to do with the issue at hand. He first point is;
“TAKE GOD AND PRAYER OUT OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM”.
She proposed that the change of curriculum would free children from the bondage of Christianity culture. The reason for targeting children is that children go to school to be equipped to face life and they will focus on those things the school counts them worthy to be passed on and they will look at God as an additional, if one can afford the additional.
By taking out God in children’s education system they (children) will unconsciously form a resolve that God is not necessary to face life. When you look at other countries that have followed this ten-point plan, subjects like Bible Knowledge have been scrapped and replaced with religious studies that equates all religions and do away with the supremacy of Jesus Christ.
The other reason for targeting children is because older people are already deep rooted in the culture and therefore are not going to accept new changes that easy. On reflection I am forced to think more about the NP that has been introduced in schools by Minister Lazarus Dokora.
In my previous article I questioned the problem for co-existence between the National Pledge and the Scripture Union in schools? In this article I would like to concentrate more on the NP in order to expose the plans of Minister Dokora and his backers.
Firstly if you take a look at the Bible history, each time a trusted aide to the pagan king wanted to do something sinister to the people of God the aide will come up with the plan that the king will quickly accept and allow that to be implemented without realising that the aide has a personal score to settle.
In the book of Esther was a man called Haman. This man (Haman) had a personal vendetta with one Jewish man called Mordecai who did not take easily to his orders to salute him each time Harman appeared.
Instead of dealing with mordecai Haman hatched a plan to exterminate all the Jews in the land. Haman did not make his plan so open but he tried by all means to have the blessing of the king and to cut the long story short the plan later backfired because of the intervention of God.
Most people are well versed with the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego in the book of Daniel. The king’s aides came up with a plan to make an idol for everyone in Babylon to bow to this idol with the main aim of targeting these three guys who had the habit of praying three times to their God according to their Jewish culture.
In all these circumstances the aides were after the king’s signature so that whatever they had proposed becomes the king’s decree and had to be obeyed by all.
The Zimbabwean Primary and Secondary education Minister is no different to all the aides that I have cited above; He started by taking his proposal to the Cabinet as an issue of patriotism so that he can have the powers to implement it without his juniors or Zimbabweans at large questioning him because they take it as a government plan.
I have read that he has now passed the buck to the Nziramasanga Commission that authored a report on the state of education in 1999 at the request of the President. The learned Minister goes on to cite sanctions as the reasons why the recommendations of the Nziramasanga report were not implemented long back.
Minister Dokora’s excuse does not hold water because firstly nothing has changed as far as the sanctions are concerned and secondly the recommendations are obsolete due to the passage of time, change of circumstances i.e. political, social and economic circumstances.
If ever the sanctions were anything to go by then this is the worst period one can choose to implement the recommendations put forward seventeen years ago (if ever sanctions were the reason not to introduce the NP immediately after the Nziramasanga Commission) since Zimbabwe is in a worse-off position than then.
The Minister is trying by all means to avoid detection of his real agenda of colonising the country by targeting the young people who will take everything innocently that they are taught in schools.
Some people or a certain group of people in the country have suggested that Christians and Zimbabweans at large are not patriotic hence the dismissal of the NP. I feel duty bound to make it clear why the NP move is not welcome within the Christian circles.
The reason why Christians are against the NP isn’t that they lack patriotism to their country, no. I have seen Bishop Tudor Bismarck in Europe and America preaching while wrapped up in the Zimbabwean flag and he always makes it a point that he does not leave the pulpit without introducing a Shona word in his sermons even though he is preaching to a non-Shona speaking audiences.
Most Zimbabwean churches in the diaspora proudly hoist the Zimbabwean flag in their church services and even those who go to other churches make it a point that their flag flies among other flags representing the nationalities in the congregation. So the question of lack of patriotism among the Zimbabwean Christians must be out of debate.
The reason why the Zimbabwean Christians are against the National Pledge is mainly to do with the wording, which in their view is tantamount to idol worshipping and seeking to shoulder on children the mandate or responsibility to create new traditions and cultures.
It is just as simple as that. This responsibility must not be given to children while the elders are being ignored. If the government was serious about the NP being for the whole nation then the armed forces, civil servants, public organisations and Parliament must have been at the forefront of implementing this programme.
The introduction of the NP is viewed by many as a move to introduce some strange doctrine to our children in the name of creating new traditions and culture. As the modern parents we have a duty to pass on to our children the traditions and culture we leant from our fore fathers. Culture is a top-bottom approach as opposed to bottom-top approach and by this I mean the parents pass the culture to their children and not the other way.
As parents it will be an unwise move to pass to our children the mandate of creating new cultures and traditions just because parents are the stems and the children are the branches. If we allow that to happen that means we are surrendering our parental duties to our to our children and by doing that we will go down in history as monumental failures.
I wouldn’t be surprised tomorrow if Minister Dokora wakes up to introduce new traditions and cultures basing that on the NP. To show that the NP was introduced nicodemously, the Minister did not even consult or neither did he bother to show respect to the parents whose children he was going to force to plead allegiance to his own sinister moves.
I am one person who was very sceptical about the change of our National Anthem from Ishe komborera Africa to Simudzai Mureza weZimbawe but I found myself singing the song well before it was officially introduced as the new National Anthem and credit to the consultation process.
There was a competition open to every Zimbabwean citizen for both the lyrics and tune. I participated and although my preferred piece did not win I still consider myself to have participated in choosing the National Anthem of my country and whoever did not participate was his/her own choice.
If Minister Dokora had put the wording to the nation I am pretty sure that Zimbabwe, as a united nation would have come up with better words that were not open to controversy.
Minister Dokora’s moves have nothing to do with instilling patriotism within our children but to take them away from God with the blessing of their parents. I did not understand the idea of parents attending school parades all over the country in order to give children gifts at the launch of the National Pledge.
Honestly this is a proper spiritual sacrificial ritual if one looks at it this way; the sacrificial lamb (child), the person to offer the sacrifice (parent) and the priest (teacher). It might appear silly but those who understand the spiritual principles can understand what I am saying. Minister Dokora knows that this is a spiritual warfare and at the same time recognises the power of the parental blessing.
Like in marriage the bride’s parental blessing really matters more than anything else. As a Christian parent I am against the idea that God and the flag are given equal status in the National Pledge or it seems as if the flag has a part to play in worshipping God, which should not be the case.
The second commandment (which might not be sweet music to Minister Dokora) stipulates that “you shall not make yourself a carved image-any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth, or that is under the water; you shall not bow down to them or serve them”.
Christians see the wording to the NP as idol worshiping and that is the reason why I say consultation is very important otherwise such kind of wording could have been avoided. When one looks at the whole process from this point of view, one can safely say that the Minister’s moves were not deliberate but cunning.
Thirdly why should children born in Zimbabwe with full citizens’ rights be forced to make a pledge? A lot is done for the children to comply with the laws of the land like applying for a birth certificate, national identity card, passport and driver’s licence.
Going through these processes is a pledge by itself by citizens to live and abide by the laws and regulations of Zimbabwe and therefore the NP becomes just one of those directives to make the Minister’s presence felt.
If one was to take a look at our schools throughout the nation and ask the questions; what is really the main problem and what is to be reviewed in order for our schools to be back on track to what they used to be in the 90s and early 2000s?
Is it patriotism that can take priority more than the provision of resources i.e. buildings, books, paid teachers, laboratories and the laboratory equipment? The previous Minister from the Government of National Unity must be commended for a great job to source books for the schools, after the government had stooped funding the schools and transferred this duty to the parents.
While I am not surprised with the voices that blame the churches for not building schools in the country hence the Minister’s excuse for seeking other partners with hidden agendas from outside the country. First of all one has to ask whose duty is it to build the schools and supply all the required resources? What does our constitution say about this role?
Does the constitution say it is the duty of parents or churches? The same school of though I have mentioned before suggests that Minister Dokora is right because the church in Zimbabwe is doing nothing to the education of the children and is only interested in their money after they have graduated.
I have no time to defend some dubious activities done in the name of the church in our country today but lets not quarrel on things like whose duty is it to sweep the house when the snake has sneaked in the family household with the potential to kill the occupants? Lets do all we can to kill the snake and then resort to our duty roaster.
This is not the time to start debate regarding the behaviour of the church or Church Ministers but it is time for Minister Dokora to do a honourable thing and withdraw his demands and we can start the new topic.
I promise to makes as much noise as I am making now when it comes to debating church issues in our country for the purposes of avoiding distractive digression.
I would also like to remind Christians that God has given us the duty to look after our children and to do everything within our powers to keep them in the right parts. When the Israelites were preparing to enter into the promised land of Canaan, God warned them not to give their children to Molech or not to let them go through the fire to Molech.
Molech was a Canaanite pagan god who was worshipped by throwing young babies into the fire as sacrifices [Leviticus 18:21]. King David said, “Children are a heritage from God” [Psalms 127:3] and King Solomon full of wisdom also said that “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it”[Proverbs 22:6].
Christian parents cannot just give a blind eye to what is happening within the education system because they have a responsibility and a very bigger interest in what their children are taught at school. This is a God-given responsibility that they shall be answerable before Him. Parents sacrifice a lot for their children not only just to have food on the table but also for the children not to have an undiluted upbringing.
Going back to Alice Bailey’s ten pint charter the second point says that; REDUCE PARENTAL AUTHORITY OVER THE CHILDREN.
The main reason for this is to avoid parents passing their Christianity tradition to their children. Teachers will be used as the agents of the new system by telling children that their parents have no right to force them to read the Bible, “you are yourself, you need to discover your own world, you need to be able to self express” and all those kinds of buzz words that the children are ready to adopt.
Zimbabweans in the diaspora do not need to be lectured about this because they experience this on a daily basis in these so-called first world countries where the system has been implemented and is operating in full force.
Parents’ rights have been taken away and the children have forsaken God due to the teachings in schools and more rights given to the children to the dismay of their parents. Christianity teaching is viewed as distressing but the violent satanic stories are regarded as cool. Children are dictating how their lives should go and parents play a supportive role even if they see things otherwise.
Let me give you the remaining points from Bailey’s ten-point charter without elaborating;
- Destroy the Judeo-Christian family structure or the traditional family structure.
- If sex is free then make abortion legal and easy.
- Make divorce easy and legal, free people from the concept of marriage for life.
- Make homosexuality an alternative life style.
- Debase art, make it run mad.
- Use media to promote and change mind-set.
- Create an interfaith movement.
- Get the government to make all these laws and get the church to endorse these changes.
This is just a snapshot for the Zimbabweans to see that this is not a joking matter. It is a well-calculated move meant to bring a huge change in our society by targeting our young children so as to create a totally different society for our future generations in the next twenty to forty years.
Now I ask the people of Zimbabwe to pass a judgement on whether Minister Dokora is someone who is passionate about promoting our culture or destroying it? Is he just doing these things to seek relevance or drive the beliefs and agenda for his movement?
Zimbabweans have done great by preserving their heritage of a well-admired culture the world over. Wherever you go in the world you will identify a Zimbabwean by their hard working, well-mannered, peace loving and respectful ways, save for the guma-guma and kiya-kiya styles adopted to survive under turf conditions.
Zimbabweans are good people, resilient and God fearing people. Zimbabweans must not let this identity go to the dustbin over night but must fight tooth and nail to save their identity.
My desire is that the Zimbabwean Cabinet revisit this divisive issue considering the trauma that it has caused within the country, for Parliament to debate this ultra vires decision and have it reversed and for the parents to use their God given right to have a say over the education content delivered to their children.
May God bless our beloved country Zimbabwe.