By Ndakaziva Majaka
Government’s plan to introduce a law which allows parents to pay school fees with livestock and labour has become a butt of bad jokes on social media which has since gone viral as long suffering citizens make their views known in ways that provide comical relief.
The Movable Property Security Interests Bill which floats the idea of using movable assets like goats, cattle, sheep and cars as collateral for bank loans — is seen as taking the country backwards.
Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora told the State media last week that some schools had already entered into arrangements with parents who were failing to pay fees to provide either labour or livestock.
“Our schools have to be flexible and ensure those who do not have money to pay fees can work.
“For example, if there is a builder in the community, he/she must be given that opportunity to work as a form of payment of tuition fees.
“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 parents being duped,” said Dokora.
But the move has almost broken the Internet with unimpressed Zimbabweans using memes and butts of bad jokes to express their anger and disbelief.
Outspoken activist lawyer, Fadzayi Mahere took to micro-blogging site, Twitter to share her thoughts.
“Cows and goats to secure bank loans. Cows and goats to pay school fees. Very soon we shall need a Reserve Kraal of Zimbabwe,” tweeted Mahere.
Another user, Prophet Cynic, tweeted a meme of a prominent charismatic preacher with the caption, “When your followers bring goats to pay as tithes and offerings…”
Social influencer and businesswoman, Nomathemba Primrose Ndebele, also took to her Facebook wall in jest and wrote, “How are you paying? Swipe, Ecocash, Cash or Goat?”
Renowned writer and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga also 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?”
A joke circulating on WhatsApp has a picture of a goat and the words: “BREAKING NEWS: Zimbabwe introduces a new currency.”
Zimbabwe is in the throes of a huge economic crisis which has seen government failing to pay its civil servants on time on the back of dwindling revenue stemming from company closures and job losses.
Mugabe — the only leader that Zimbabweans have ever known since the country got its independence from Britain in 1980 — stands accused of ruining the once-vibrant economy through bad policies. Daily News