- "Our society has now created false heroes who drive Lamborghinis and Ferraris who have not seen the inside of a classroom. That is dangerous and it is unacceptable in a society like Zimbabwe" - Tendai Biti.
By Andrew Murenha
ZIMBABWEAN youths are now poisoned by fake heroes who drive Lamborghinis and Ferraris yet have not seen the inside of a classroom, MDC Alliance vice president Tendai Biti warned in Parliament yesterday, adding that society should go back to old values where education was respected as a gateway to success.
The Harare East legislator made the remark while debating in support of a motion by Zanu-PF MP for Buhera Central, Dr. Matthew Nyashanu, who called for the creation of a dedicated Ministry on Children’s Affairs.
“Education is the foremost right in addition to the right to life and the right to human dignity. We should send our children to school. We should protect our children and we should protect them against false heroes.
“Our society has now created false heroes who drive Lamborghinis and Ferraris who have not seen the inside of a classroom. That is dangerous and it is unacceptable in a society like Zimbabwe.
“We grew up respecting the right to human dignity,” Biti said.
His sentiment is likely to draw heated debate as it comes a week after Zimbabwe’s celebrated collector of the finest supercars, Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure, died in his Rolls-Royce Wraith over a week ago.
Social media was awash with youths gushing out some love and respect to Ginimbi’s taste for exotic cars, yet the late tycoon only passed one O-Level subject (Agriculture), according to Ginimbi’s friend and fellow socialite Pokello Nare.
Critics say, for all his massive show of material wealth including a monstrous mansion, Ginimbi was a known tax evader who contributed nothing positive to the country’s economic activities.
But Biti yesterday said society must recalibrate and go back to old values where education was respected as a gateway to success and where wheeling and dealing were frowned upon.
“We grew up knowing that unless you go to school, you are blind and you are a nobody. Our children must grow up respecting the right to dignity, the right to go to school and not the right to driving Ferraris when you do not know the inside of a classroom.
“Most of us possibly yourself Hon. Speaker, without education we would be at Emaguswini there herding cattle, but God gave us the opportunity through education,” said Biti.
He noted however that education on its own was worthless in an economy where the job market has grown very thin while too many graduates are being churned from colleges every year.
“69% of Zimbabweans are below the age of 35. We are producing around three million graduates every year and yet we are producing less than 20 000 jobs.
“We have to expand the cake. We have to expand the economy so that children are absorbed when they turn 18 years.
“The population of Zimbabwe is going double by 2045 and in the next ten years, the City of Harare and the City of Bulawayo’s populations are going to double. Harare for instance, is going to have a population of 10 million. The majority of those people will be children and they will be young people who are vulnerable.
“Many of them are child-driven households. If you go to hospitals, the infant mortality rates have gone up. We need to ensure that children are economic players,” said Biti. – Zimbabwe Voice ■