Excellent historian, poor policymaker

HARARE - Once again the nation will in the coming weeks be reminded about heroic contributions by the late Higher and Tertiary Education minister, Stan Mudenge who died last Thursday.

It is common practice in Africa to utter praises to the deceased even if the very same person was a renowned witch or wizard inflicting untold evils amongst fellow villagers, hence the saying afa anaka literally meaning the dead have no blemishes.

However, it does not help much to turn a blind eye on the wrongs the deceased would have done too.
The late Mudenge was undoubtedly a remarkable historian and distinguished academic.

Mudenge devoted a noteworthy period in the extrapolation of the lost romantic glory of the Mutapa Empire.

Without Mudenge’s devotion precisely on the Mutapa State, the historical narratives we now enjoy could never have been the same.

As we have always strived in our endeavours of telling it like it is without fear or favour, we take it as our prime goal to inform people that though Mudenge was an excellent historian but his policy making prowess remains questionable.

Under Mudenge’s tutelage, the Higher and Tertiary Education ministry crumbled as has never been witnessed before.

All state-run universities have disgruntled staff whose minister never did anything for their betterment.

Universities which should be centres of excellence have been converted into concentration camps were lecturers and students alike are victimised daily.

Under Mudenge’s watch polytechnics and vocational education and training centres which once prided themselves of being the greatest training hubs of artisans for the region, have been reduced into museums.

Where on earth have you ever seen a country exporting the best of its brains?

There has been a lot of policy discord amongst different departments under Mudenge’s ministry.

The recent controversy between Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education and Zimbabwe Open University over suitability of certain qualifications is just a tip of an iceberg.

Mudenge failed to emulate his counterpart David Coltart, the minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture who with poor resources, managed to pull the education sector out of the woods.

Maybe he is a victim of circumstances who tried his best but failed because of the situation prevailing in the country where the Zanu PF government has destroyed virtually everything they inherited at independence.

But we cannot completely ignore the positives that Mudenge brought about especially our history.

He was passionate about our history and there is reason for every Zimbabwean to also remember him for this.

May his soul rest in eternal peace. - Staff Writer

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