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No to another inclusive Govt: President Mugabe

By Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
President Mugabe yesterday said he was glad the inclusive Government that brought together Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations in 2008 was coming to an end as its continued existence prolonged stagnation in development.

The President described the inclusive Government as a "three-headed monster" that retarded progress in various areas, among them failing to pay university fees for beneficiaries of the Presidential Scholarship Fund.

Addressing former and current beneficiaries of the Presidential Scholarship programme during a get-together party at State House in Harare yesterday, the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said such a Government should never be formed again.

President Mugabe, who was accompanied by the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe, said he was happy that the troubled coalition was ending on July 31, paving way for a one party Government.

"The inclusive Government is a three-headed monster," he said. "I think let us have one creature with one head. That is what we are used to as human beings. The other one is dreadful. It is inhumane, actually, and that is what we had experienced over the four and half years.

"I am glad it is dying. Its mouthpiece died on 29 June. They called it Parliament. What is left now is what the Americans call a lame duck. It is an Executive which is limping. And they are limping along, just to get to the elections, but it has done us a lot of harm. A lot of developmental harm here and elsewhere." President Mugabe said the inclusive Government projected Zimbabwe as a poor country.

"It is as if we are that poor," he said. "We can never be too poor to bring up our children."

President Mugabe said although some people in the inclusive Government benefited on the sweat of others, they did not want others to enjoy the same. He regretted that Government owed South African universities offering degrees to students under the Presidential Scholarship Programme as a result of indifferent behaviour by some people in the inclusive Government.

He took upon himself to settle the outstanding fees before July 28. "Mauniversity akanyora kuHurumende kuti tatadza kubhadhara," he said. "We will ensure that we get the money soon and kana zvichireva chikwereti tinotora chikwereti ichocho. Tingabva tashaya chikwereti?

"I will be the guarantor of it, so we do not wreck our relationship with Fort Hare, our relationship elsewhere with other universities. VaMushowe vanga vachindiratidza tsamba dzacho dzekuHurumende dzekuti vari kuda kuti by 28 July vana varege kudzoka.

"Aiwa tine chikwereti, kana tine chikwereti hatirambi tinacho. Tiri vatadzi takatadza." President Mugabe urged the students to be calm, saying the money would be found to pay the outstanding fees.

He said education was the best empowerment that one could get in life to sustain a decent livelihood and to develop the country.

President Mugabe said during the colonial era black students were not equated to their white counterparts although it was later proven that the black students were superior in many areas.

He said blacks were restricted to teaching and other menial jobs as all the intellectual professions were reserved for the whites.

"You did not qualify to be a civil servant so you could only become a messenger, a carrier of water, cooker of tea for the whites in the civil service," he said. "Otherwise they (whites) manned the civil service from top to bottom." President Mugabe said whites who were in the civil service during the Smith regime were not promoted on the basis of qualifications, but experience. He said the Presidential Scholarship Scheme was initiated for less privileged, yet intellectually gifted students.

The programme, President Mugabe said, was mooted after a realisation that local universities could not accommodate the high turnout of students from high schools. One of the beneficiaries of the Presidential Scholarship Scheme who is now an Associate Professor and Head of Department of Agricultural Economic and Extension at Fort Hare University Abbyssinia Mushunje hailed President Mugabe for initiating the programme that changed the lives of many young people in Zimbabwe. "Your policies on education have made Zimbabwe the best in the region and the world," he said.

"Through this programme you have empowered us and you have empowered our families."

Since its inception, the Presidential Scholarship Programme has benefited more than 15 000 students.

Several students who attended yesterday's event recited touching testimonies on how the Presidential Scholarship Programme transformed their lives. They were drawn from those who benefited from the scheme from 1995 to date. The programme started at Fort Hare alone, but now at least 15 universities are accommodating students under scheme.

Yesterday's event was also attended by acting Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Dr Ignatius Chombo, executive director of the President


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