By: Thabo Mohlala from Inside Education
Scores of Zimbabweans have expressed fear and frustrations about how the political situation has negatively affected their normal daily activities.
The country’s army generals took control of the Zimbabwean government on Wednesday after a struggle to succeed 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe spilled into the public, culminating in the sacking of the vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Although the situation was described as relatively calm, there were reports that schooling in some areas was affected.
Education has proven to be the most fragile vulnerable sector particularly during political standoffs.
Recently, during the disputed Kenyan presidential elections between Uhuru Kenyatta and the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, schools had to be closed and education authorities were forced to revise examination dates to accommodate the re-run of the elections.
The political situation in Zimbabwe has always been volatile as opposition parties and ordinary citizens wanted to end Mugabe’s 37 years rule.
But matters came to head this week after the Army General, Constantino Chiwenga, also commander of Zimbabwe Defence Forces, addressed a media briefing threatening to intervene to stop a purge of senior Zanu-PF members, particularly Mnangagwa.
The situation escalated on Wednesday as the army fanned across the capital Harare with tanks and an assortment of armoured vehicles and proceeded to seize the state broadcaster. They also arrested some Zanu-PF cabinet members: higher education minister Jonathan Moyo‚ local government minister Saviour Kasukuwere and finance minister Ignatius Chombo. The trio are believed to instigating the purge under the banner of G40 faction.
The defence force has since assured the Zimbabweans to remain calm and go about their normal day-to-day business.
President Jacob Zuma, in his capacity as the chair of the SADC region dispatched a special envoy comprising the Minister of Defence Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Ngqakula and the Minister of State Security, Adv Bongani Bongo to Zimbabwe to meet with President Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwean Defence Force.
Zuma said he spoke with President Robert Mugabe who assured him he was fine.