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Presidential Scholarship reducing students to street beggars in South Africa

By a disgruntled desperate/disadvantaged student

I am a born-free citizen, but I never knew freedom since I was born. Freedom of speech and expression is nothing more than a bookish concept taught in classrooms and ends there. A “sovereign” state where citizens are not allowed to air their views. Where the Ministry of Defence is a priority whilst health, social welfare and education are options.

Christopher Mushohwe, the executive director of the Presidential Scholarship programme
Christopher Mushohwe, the executive director of the Presidential Scholarship programme

That’s the order of the day in a country ruled by someone approaching a century, a country where corruption in parastatals is a norm. A state where ministers work, not for the people but for their families and masters. That’s Zimbabwe 34 years after Independence.

It is with greatest sympathy when I learnt that the Zanu PF led government could not prioritise education of the underprivileged children who were funded under the BEAM, despite them recruiting soldiers the previous year whilst the country is at peacetime. Is this what Cde Herbert Chitepo died for?

That moment when the head of state celebrates a US$ 1million birthday whilst declaring the Tokwe Mukosi a state of emergency and seeking external assistance. Is this the Zimbabwe that Josiah Tongogara dreamt of? I wonder. My main worry is on the poorly run, “prestigious” presidential scholarship! I am sure, the president even recalls this on 29 July last year at “his” state house when he was addressing students.

Yes, its his, I think he even has title deeds to that place. The most respected man, who occupies the highest office on the land, His Excellency, initiated the presidential scholarship. All with a motive to help the disadvantaged children who hail from poor backgrounds, and this was all good! He deserve a bell!

But now, Mr President, you take those children and send them to foreign lands, provide far less than adequate resources to them. Bogus scholarships takes children and drop their funding even before they finish, and now, the Government also takes children and all of a sudden, drop them before they finish. Is now our government also bogus? Who to trust now?

Well, UJ Chartered Accounting students just been kicked out of varsity all because of the failure by the scholarship director to communicate with the university on time over the arrangements. And now, the incompetent director is making little or no progress to make an effort so that the remaining students can go back to school and start attending.

Their future is not your concern all because there ain’t any of yours I guess. Why ruining their future? Why starting a scholarship if you don’t have a plan of how you will fund it? Wits students are also booted out of the varsity premises, let alone Cape Peninsula.

You reduced your fellow Zimbabweans into laughing stocks and beggars. Gita, out of sympathy and pity, sourced for bursaries for 10 students at Wits, and we had and have no option but to drop out varsity and find other means to get money so that we can go back home. Let alone Venda and Monash University.

I remember Mr Mushohwe promising that if they win elections all problems would be solved, blaming all problems on Biti. Is this still Biti with the treasury now? I can hardly name any project which Zanu PF initiated and finished it!

Yours truly

A disgruntled desperate disadvantaged student.