HARARE - From the chaotic land reform programme of 2000 right to the bedlam caused by the Indigenisation law and now the schools new curriculum confusion — the Zanu PF government has proved beyond measure to be past-masters of doing the unthinkable.
Under President Robert Mugabe’s rule, disorder has been the order of the day as half-thought policies are shovelled down our throats with no proper consideration of their consequences.
Indeed, Mugabe has shown that he is a chaotic leader whose sole persuasion is power retention, never mind the disaster spawned by his populist and self-serving policies.
While land reform was long overdue and essentially sought to correct historical imbalances on land occupation — it was, however, implemented in a hurried and chaotic manner which has no doubt led to a sharp decline in agricultural productivity as well as wanton destruction of property by land invaders.
Today, the country — at one time the bread-basket of southern Africa — has become a basket case with its citizens perennially faced with hunger.
Failing to learn from the land reform disaster, Mugabe rail-roaded yet another populist policy in 2008 — the Indigenisation Act — which required that investors cede 51 percent of their stake to locals and the results were an unprecedented investor flight and the subsequent death of local industry and company closures as foreign-owned companies looked elsewhere safe to put their money.
It should be noted that the two policies, controversial as they are, are essential if we are to redistribute wealth and try to empower locals who have been historically disempowered even on the land of their forefathers, but it is always the manner these noble policies are pursued by Zanu PF that confirms violence and chaos are the hallmark of Mugabe’s rule.
Now coming to the hot potato surrounding the new curriculum in schools, government does not seem to have done its homework properly and is now proving its propensity to cause unnecessary pandemonium in the country.
While the new curriculum is progressive as it responds to a constantly changing world, consultation was limited and some of its requirements are untenable because most Zimbabweans are poor. Worse still, in rural areas, parents cannot afford to bankroll all their children’s needs.
The Education ministry must have consulted comprehensively — far and wide — and implemented the new curriculum gradually, otherwise the commendable efforts contained in the Nziramasanga Commission report of 1999 will all be in vain.