Robert Sinyoka a victim of political neglect


THE Robert Sinyoka community on Wednesday erupted into song and dance when electricity was finally switched on at their school after 86-years of darkness.

Southern Eye Editorial

Robert Sinyoka Primary School, which is less than 5km from Old Pumula, an urban constituency, was built in 1927 thanks to the benevolence of missionaries. This newspaper witnessed electrifying scenes as residents ululated in celebration of the new phenomenon after 86 years of neglect.

But what we found embarrassing, if not scandalous, is that it has again taken the benevolence of World Vision to pump more than $20 000 to bankroll the electrification of the school, located in a peri-urban environment, not far from the offices of outspoken Bulawayo governor Cain Mathema.

As rightly stated by World Vision operations manager Shepherd Dlamini, the development at Robert Sinyoka is surely a miracle at the long-
forgotten school. It is not a secret that the development of pupils at Robert Sinyoka Primary was greatly hampered by lack of electricity, especially when computers were being introduced in schools in and around the country about a decade ago. Robert Sinyoka is about 20km from Mathema’s office, President Robert Mugabe’s point-man in Bulawayo.

Mathema might have his own explanation to this neglect of a peri-urban community, but to critics of Mugabe, who appointed him governor of Bulawayo despite losing in the 2008 parliamentary elections, it gives credence to assertions that the region is being deliberately marginalised by people who have been mandated to develop it.

Otherwise how else do we explain the neglect of the school and the community around it that has gone for 86 years without power?

This is political neglect, period. And these are the people who have the temerity to demand citizens’ endorsement in the pending polls!

While it speaks volumes about the priorities of the country’s political leadership, Mathema should be ashamed that an NGO has finally come to the rescue of pupils and a community long banished to using candles and firewood for lighting and cooking, 33 years after independence.

Lest people of Bulawayo and its hinterlands of Matabeleland forget, Mathema has been on an ill-advised crusade against NGOs, spewing vitriol against them, accusing most of them of pushing a regime change agenda. He has demanded that they be outlawed in Bulawayo.

We ask: What regime change agenda when Robert Sinyoka has waited 86-years for a simple electricity connection worth a mere $20 000?

The regime change mantra does not hold water any longer. No wonder Bulawayo and the rest of Matabeleland continue to record poor primary school results in comparison to other 10 political provinces of Zimbabwe!