Local Authority

Cllr Muchokwa pushes for more public schools in Ward 9

RUTENDO CHIRUME

MASVINGO CITY- Masvingo Urban ward 9 councilor, Bernard Muchokwa aka Bennic is pushing for the construction of additional public primary and secondary schools in his ward.

 The outspoken Bennic said his ward, last year alone witnessed three learners who lost their lives in road traffic accidents while they were trying to cross the busy Masvingo Harare High way while on their way from Rhodene to affordable public schools in Mucheke.

The leafy suburb of Rhodene has only one secondary and one primary public boarding schools, Victoria High and Victoria Primary which he said are overwhelmed as they are among the elite schools in the ancient city and are a target of learners from in and outside the province.

There is Junior Primary and High in Rhodene, but they are private schools which many domestic workers in the suburb including, ZIMRE Park and Clovelly cannot afford.

Bennic said this during a full council meeting which was held last week after reports were made that the local authority is creating land between ZIMRE Park and Clovelly for a private investor to build a school

Masvingo Province Education Director, Shylatte Mhike said as long as the land is available and it is development oriented there is no problem in having a public school in Rhodene.

He said the influx of pupils crossing the busy high in search for education in Mucheke is on the surge and claimed that most of Rhodene residents no longer afford to take their children to private schools and as the councilor of the area he has a right to lobby for the two educational facilities to be built in the ward.

“During the full council meeting, most of the councilors were against me, but I am the representative for ward 9. I best placed to know what the people want and it is my job to represent them in the council.

“We have private schools in Rhodhene with except Victoria Primary and Victoria High Schools which are overwhelmed because they are boarding schools.

“My argument is that it does not make sense to give the land to a private solicitor to build his school when there are other private schools in the area which many parents in my ward cannot afford and besides there is now ZIMRE Park and these private schools can be overwhelmed too.

“That is why I argued that there is a need for a public school both primary and secondary to be built on that land which the committee is planning to give to a private owner,” said Muchokwa.

However, some who spoke to The Midweek Watch expressed shock at such a proposal considering that this is a low density area and there is no need for such a mass school.

“This man is not serious, he wants to bring Ndarama to Rhodene, those who cannot afford private schools should take their children to Mucheke not to build a mass school in a low density area, it loses value. The essence of staying in the low density is quickly eroded.

“We take our children to private schools so that we don’t chock Government schools to allow those who can’t afford expensive schools to have places for their children there.

“This is the reason why we wanted Mbetu to be our councilor, with all due respect, this guy seems not to understand the residents’ main concerns,” said one resident on condition of anonymity.

Masvingo City Council is already under pressure from residents  to establish more educational facilities particularly high schools within the city to ease pressure on already existing secondary schools.

Currently the local authority runs 5 primary schools which are; Shakake, Rujeko, Dikwindi, Francis Aphiri and Runyaro with only one high school, Rujeko Secondary.

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