Zim, SA to harmonise education systems
THE Zimbabwean and South African Governments are working towards regularisation of the teaching profession to deal with unemployed but qualified teachers in Zimbabwe and at the same time address the need gap in South Africa in a collaborative manner.
The process is expected to see Zimbabwean teachers in South African being registered and licensed.
The move comes against the backdrop of an unquantifiable number of qualified Zimbabwean teachers working in South Africa. Some of the them are not in the education sector and those in the education sector are employed mostly in private schools, where authorities cannot easily monitor their conditions of service.
Addressing a press conference, flanked by South Africa’s Basic Education Minister Angelina Motshekga, FIGHTING the ruling Zanu-PF at court has proved costly for three politicians who were fired from the revolutionary party after their lawyers turned against them and took them to the High Court over unpaid legal fees to the tune of $25 000.
Rugare Eleck Ngidi Gumbo and Dydmus Mutasa, who are now with a new political outfit Zimbabwe People First, together with Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy leader Temba Mliswa, made headlines between 2015 and early this year for frequenting the High Court with suits against the revolutionary party.
The trio was last year expelled from Zanu-PF for allegedly trying to topple President Mugabe.
For the legal suits, the highly litigious trio enjoyed the services of Nyakutombwa, Mugabe Legal Counsel when they did not have the capacity to pay the law firm.
Nyakutombwa, Mugabe Legal Counsel raised a bill for all the services rendered but the three did not pay.
After unsuccessfully trying all the avenues to recover the debt, the law firm has issued summons at the High Court claiming the outstanding $25 000 from the politicians.
When the three were expelled from Zanu-PF last year, they approached the law firm seeking legal services.
“As a result of their expulsion, they approached the plaintiff and retained the plaintiff for the provision of several legal services related to their expulsion from the aforesaid political party.
“The services included challenging the aforesaid expulsion and seeking the enforcement of certain constitutional rights,” reads part of the plaintiff ’s declaration.
In coming up with the bill, the law firm charged the trio for all opted services rendered and for all court attendances in terms of the Law Society of Zimbabwe General tariff of 2011.
No guarantee of success was given nor was failure of the cases a basis for non-payment of the due fees, the lawyers argued.
The trio lost all their cases at the High Court and the Supreme Court and became evasive in terms of settling the legal bill.
Mutasa and Gumbo were represented in a High Court case in which they were contesting expulsion from Zanu-PF under HC1914 and they left a balance of $2 950.
The lawyers are also claiming $5 181 from Mutasa and Mliswa for legal services rendered while they were pursuing another case at the Constitutional Court registered under CCZ 10/15.
Mutasa is being separately sued $1 380 for services in a case he required spoliation order against the Office of the President and Cabinet. Mutasa and Mliswa were also charged $12 463 in another constitutional challenge filed under CCZ 9/15 at the Constitutional Court. The law firm is also claiming $4 945 from Mutasa for representing him in a case he was fighting the Constituency Elections Office.
The lawyers want the trio to pay costs of the suit and to be obliged to pay interest on the total figures owed at the rate of 5 percent per annum calculated from the date of issuance of the summons to the date of payment in full. In one of the cases in which Mutasa and Gumbo were contesting expulsion at the High Court, the duo chickened out on March 30 this year. after a two-day conference on identifying possible areas of cooperation, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazaraus Dokora said issues of human resources, research, curriculum implementation and assessment are earmarked for collaboration.
“The way we have discussed this issue is to say that, when our teachers proceed to work in South Africa, we want to know where they are, how they are being deployed and we also safeguard their interests,” said Dr Dokora.
He said the collaboration was meant to find a common ground with South Africa for the benefit of not only the two countries but also the teachers themselves.
Dr Dokora said both countries also need to cooperate on curriculum implementation and assessment to modernise the two in line with the demands of the 21st century.
“We have shared matters of mutual interest, their experiences and our experiences too and we have agreed to continue collaboration together in the area of assessment,” said Dr Dokora.
He said other areas include educational conferences to keep learning from each other and arts festivals.
Minister Motshekga said South Africa had always held Zimbabwe’s education system in high esteem and therefore had a lot to learn.
She said one area her Government was keen to learn from Zimbabwe was the area of public examinations in which, she said, the country was way ahead compared to South Africa.
“Historically, South Africa looks forward to the education system of Zimbabwe and thus we never hesitated to take up your invitation to this meeting to see how best we can collaborate,” she said.
Minister Motshekga said a series of meetings will follow the engagement with her Zimbabwean counterpart to start operationalising other areas that do not necessarily require Memoranda of Understanding.
Lawyers sue Mutasa, Mliswa, Gumbo over unpaid legal fees
Vice President Mphoko’s wife Laurinda (right) presents day-old chicks to Iminyela residents in Bulawayo yesterday