By Dumisani Nyoni
Bulawayo, August 05, 2016 – ZANU PF legislator for Luveve-Gwabalanda, Ntando Mlilo has invited primary school children in his constituency to come for a street demonstration against their own parents for allegedly abdicating their duties to pay fees.
The demonstration, probably the first of its kind in years, is set for August 20.
Mlilo on Tuesday reportedly summoned all school heads under his constituency for a meeting which took place at Mafakela Primary School over parent’s failure to pay school fees.
“Mlilo told school heads that since parents were failing to pay school fees, they should come up with a strategy that will make them pay,” said a parent privy to the deliberations.
“Shockingly, he told heads to organise children on August 20 to demonstrate against their parents over non-payment of fees.”
During the demonstration, children will take a break from their mid-year school holiday to convene for a march along Luveve road while waving placards demanding parents to their pay fees.
They will then convene at Mafakela Primary School grounds where education authorities will address them.
School heads were asked to organise students and also notify their superiors.
Mlilo was however yet to seek police clearance for the planned march and also meet provincial education director, Den Moyo as well as permanent secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Sylvia Utete-Masango.
The MP confirmed the planned demonstration but said he was yet to approach the police for clearance as well as education officials.
“It’s not a demonstration perse but an awareness campaign to urge parents to pay school fees. Schools are struggling just because parents are failing to honour their obligation. We are not fighting against parents but urging them,” Mlilo said.
However, some parents denounced the controversial move saying it was tantamount to child abuse.
“It’s political and they want to use our children for their benefit. It’s more of child abuse and we are saying no to that. How can they incite children to revolt against their parents,” one parent who identified himself as Nkomo told RadioVOP.
Government has introduced a dispensation which forbids school authorities against sending away pupils who have not paid fees.
But parents have reportedly taken advantage and abandoned the responsibility, in the process incurring huge bills in terms of unpaid fees.