President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday said government will increase funding for education and healthcare, especially in marginalised areas in the country.
Zimbabwe’s education and health sectors were not spared from the effects of illegal Western sanctions imposed over land reforms, which resulted in the flight of qualified personnel and dilapidation of health and learning facilities, among other things.
But the government is making efforts to resuscitate both sectors through various initiatives and has, for example, started sourcing crucial medical equipment and drugs from the United Arab Emirates and
On the other hand, to improve the education sector, government awarded
it the highest allocation of $1. 5 billion in the 2019 National Budget
with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education receiving the
lion’s share of $1. 132 billion while the remainder went to the Ministry
of Higher and Tertiary Education.
President Mnangagwa was speaking at the official opening of Tariro
Clinic and Youth Centre in Hopley high density suburb which was built by
the Harare City Council (HCC) in collaboration with several partners
including the United Nations Population Fund.
He said developmental issues should take centre stage at both central
and local government level. “It is therefore necessary both at central government level as well as at local government level to attend to the young generation, in terms of education, in terms of primary health care, in terms of gender equality and women empowerment, in terms of attending to the issue and scourge of HIV and AIDS,” he said.
“We intend to enhance investments in education, health, economic empowerment of both our young men and women.” President Mnangagwa said the development and future of Zimbabwe was closely linked to the well-being of its young people.
As such, he said, it was important to create an environment where young
people were allowed to express themselves. He said it was pleasing to note that Zimbabwe had a net attendance rate of 91 percent for primary education suggesting that nearly every child goes to primary school, while it was also a leader in terms of literacy in Africa.
“We should not lose that lead. So central government must devote a
substantial part of our national budget to the education of our
children,” he said.
However, President Mnangagwa expressed disappointment over the increase
in cases of child marriages, saying the scourge should be rooted out.
“We now have a law, which forbids anyone to get married before attaining the age of 18. We want our young people to finish school first before starting families. Anyone who goes against this will be jailed.”
Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa hailed the collaboration between the HCC
and several development partners in the construction of Tariro Clinic
and youth centre.
“This is a commendable collaboration which must be replicated in all
municipal councils countrywide,” he said. – New Ziana