Zanu PF’s Binga North Parliamentary candidate, Kudakwashe Mavula Munsaka, has stepped up his campaign by setting up a ZWL$1 million scholarship programme for the less privileged children in the constituency.
Munsaka is battling for the Binga North seat against four other candidates who include Peggy Mudimba of the MDC Alliance, Clive Muzamba of the United Democratic Alliance, Prince Dubeko Sibanda of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and an independent Disciple Munkuli.
Termed the MP’s Scholarship Fund, Munsaka said the programme was aimed at paying fees for primary school children in the constituency who had been struggling to go to school.
“For a start, the fund will have ZWL$1milion and will run for every term, paying fees for the financially challenged children. The programme is for Binga North constituency and will be done every term. Our aim is to make sure we pay the fees until the children finish school,” said the Zanu PF candidate in an interview with CITE.
“Every less privileged child can be a beneficiary; we don’t choose whether one is academically gifted or not because some children’s talents develop when they are at secondary school.”
Munsaka said his team was working with School Development Committees to identify children in need of assistance.
“The scholarship programme has already released funds for a number of children but I am unsure of the exact number, as I am waiting for invoices from the various schools. But by this evening I would have transferred funds for 100 children,” he said.
He also noted he was funding the scholarship from his personal funds.
“I am an accountant by profession and a financial consultant so I am in charge of funding this scholarship,” Munsaka said.
The aspiring MP said as more funds became available, the programme would also cater for secondary school children.
“Our wish is to continue with this fund, as we try to incorporate all those who are already in secondary school, until all the beneficiaries finish their schooling and possibly enroll into degree programmes. Possibly, we also hope to increase the scholarship fund next year,” Munsaka said.
However, the aspiring MP could not conclusively say whether the scholarship would continue should he lose the election race.
“It depends, we shall see (if the scholarship will continue). I mean it depends on certain factors but whether I lose or not, it’s my wish to help the less privileged seeing that I would have already started doing so,” Munsaka pointed out.
As for the situation regarding the presence of teachers in schools in Binga North, Munsaka alleged it was “normalising,” as some teachers were attending lessons.
“This week is better than before. I have seen children coming from school who indicated they did some learning,” he claimed.
The aspiring legislator also highlighted that once in parliament, he would legislate for better education policies.
“My main worry is schools in the constituency have no centre numbers and this means they can’t be examination centres for the national Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) certificate. Candidates have to walk or travel long distances to places that are registered so this must be addressed,” Munsaka said.
“I have to engage with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education about this challenge so that they also look into it now.”