The old cliché like father like son has become the joke of the day as Zimbabweans here in the U.K. continue to expose children of ZANU-PF officials running illegal scams. Magwiza Chigwedere, son of education minister Aeneas Chigwedere, has been accused of selling teachers’ certificates as well as grade 7, form 4 and form 6 certificates. Since the documents are originals from Zimbabwe, it is now suspected that his father the minister may be involved in the scandal.

Our source reports that Magwiza, who is working as a teacher in Bedford in the UK, approached  him and his wife offering them teachers’certificates. Being a businessman whose life and property was destroyed by ZANU-PF back home, our informant says he is angered by the fact that the ruling party’s corruption has followed him here to the U.K.

CHIGWEDERE       1064/6         4:12

In: Nyaya iripano         Out: people like that

For his own safety, our contact did not want to be identified.

Minister Chigwedere himself is blamed by many Zimbabweans for destroying the education system in the country. Last year, he changed the names of schools that sounded too colonial, a move that was opposed by the public. He then abused teachers' at their congress by calling them drunkards and rapists. ZTV was there recording and broadcast every insult. Next Chigwedere banned Zimbabwean children from writing Cambridge examinations, and decreed that all schools would wear identical uniforms. This idea was also ridiculed.

Chigwedere once said all those who have children in private schools have a colonial mentality. A caller asked if this means Mugabe has a colonial mentality since his children attend private schools.

Many say Chigwedere should concentrate on upgrading the shambolic situation in government schools. One parent who teaches at a farm school says she feels that Chigwedere’s attitude is caused by the fact that some of his children have been failures in society. She says it’s a typical case of;  “if my children can’t succeed in society then nobody else’s children will”

This woman who prefers to remain anonymous for her own security alleges that another of Chigwedere’s children had brushes with the law, including breaking and entering.

Track; 1067/4

Time; 7:04

Out; …wakafoira ndevapi ehe

This parent, who is also a teacher says Chigwedere does not seem to care about the education of Zimbabwe’s children because his own children have been failures. This teacher thought it was 2 of Chigwedere’s children who engaged in criminal activities but to clarify it was in fact one. 

The Daily News reported in 2001 that Maona Chigwedere, was arrested by the police for breaking into the Harare office of Elliot Pfebve, who was the MDC parliamentary candidate for Bindura. Chigwedere reportedly admitted that his son was involved. He said Maona was his prodigal son who refused to go to school.

And in a separate incident, in 2003 the Daily News reported that Maona died in police custody. At that time the minister confirmed that the police had arrested his son in Chitungwiza, after he and some friends were involved in a fist-fight with an unidentified gang.

Our caller challenges Education Minister, Aeneas Chigwedere to tour rural schools, especially farm schools so that he can see the appalling situation there. She says there are no desks, toilets and in some cases no buildings. It’s reported that some of the rural schools are depending on hand-outs from private schools. This woman says Chigwedere should concentrate on revamping collapsing government schools instead of wasting time on private schools.