MORE than 100 demonstrators, most of them of school-going age, yesterday demanded the ouster of Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora, accusing him of failing to run the education sector by advocating for anti-poor policies.

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BY MOSES MATENGA

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Dokora is being accused of promoting unpopular policies including his push for Grade 7 pupils to pay examination fees, hiking examination fees for Ordinary Level students and introducing foreign languages at schools.

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Grade 7 pupils will now pay $3 per subject, while “O” Level fees have been increased from $13 to $15.

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The demonstration started from the organisers’ ZimRights offices, to Chester House and to the regional education offices where they handed over a petition for onward transmission to President Robert Mugabe, Cabinet, Parliament, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and Dokora.

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An official in the ministry, Christopher Kateera, received the petition and promised the demonstrators that he would hand it over to his superiors.

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The demonstrators sang and chanted slogans, demanding the ouster of Dokora and a relook into some of his policies before they were addressed by ZimRights national director Okay Machisa.

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“Dokora must go now. You have failed, you have betrayed us. No Grade 7 examination fees. Dokora, you want Chinese in schools, what about Tonga?” some of the placards the demonstrators carried read.

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Machisa said the petition would also be taken to Mugabe and Parliament to look into the concerns raised.

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“We now ask the regional director to come down and we hand over our petition. It’s not his, it’s for the minister,” he said.

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When contacted for comment, Dokora was emotional over the matter, claiming it was government policy he was implementing before hanging up.

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“Hey you, these are not my things. I am not implementing my family policies here. Talk to the communications officer in the ministry,” Dokora said. – Newsday