President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been criticised for encouraging school children to learn to manufacture guns and bombs.
During a private visit to St Noah Taguta College in Marange, Manicaland over the weekend, Mnangagwa urged school children to learn computers so that they will be able to manufacture weapons of war.
His remarks were captured on camera by the state broadcaster, ZBC, in a video that has since gone viral. Said Mnangagwa:
Study hard because among you we want engineers who can manufacture guns and also helicopters and fighter jets to bomb our enemies.
Watch the video below:
Obert Masaraure, president of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) said Mnangagwa’s comments encourage violence among learners. He said:
The mind of Emmerson Mnangagwa is poisoned with the love of power.
His focus is purely on power retention with no interest in delivering services.
The coup leader is obviously scared that some people elsewhere are plotting to violently topple him because is aware that a coup begets a coup.
We remind the Head of state to focus on service delivery and get performance legitimacy on his profile.
Masaraure claimed that teachers are educating people to build a prosperous Zimbabwe not to make guns to fight imaginary enemies.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition chairperson, Peter Mutasa, said there was nothing new about Mnangagwa’s utterances. Mutasa said:
There is nothing new about this. We know our rulers adore violence and are ready to use it to sustain their power.
It was however inappropriate for the President to use such examples with the kids.
We live in a difficult and violent world, and all of us must be careful not to encourage violence to kids.
However, we believe we have important issues that should not be lost in the midst of this circus.
The economy is imploding, many citizens are thrust into abject poverty and the democratic space is closing.
I think the ruling elites deliberately create these sideshows to distract us from questioning them on important matters.
Mnangagwa came to power in November 2017 after the military placed then-president, Robert Mugabe under house arrest.
Mugabe was forced to resign as Parliament commenced impeachment proceedings against him.
The coup was widely supported by Zimbabweans, including opposition politicians who thought they would be given positions in a new coalition government.