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Chamisa bemoans tribalism

MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa has called for compulsory teaching of local languages in primary school as a means of reversing “language imperialism”.

By Phyllis Mbanje

Addressing a bumper crowd in Silobela, the youthful Chamisa, who punctuated his speech with IsiNdebele expressions said the only way to build a united country was to respect all languages.

“Teachers should speak in Ndebele and be able to teach that language from Grade 1 to 7.

“It is disrespectful not being able to speak in Ndebele,” he said to loud cheers from the largely Ndebele-speaking community.

Chamisa, who has been on a blazing campaign trail which took him to Sanyati, Gokwe, Silobela, Redcliff and rounding off in Kadoma today, wowed the crowd by promising them that Ndebele would be respected along with other local languages.

“When I assume office on 1 August, I will make sure teachers from Grade 1 to 7 will teach mother languages and reverse language imperialism,” he said.
He said the previous government led by Robert Mugabe and that of President Emmerson Mnangagwa did not respect local languages but that would be dealt with as a priority.

“We want a nation that respects all languages. No language is superior to the other. It is not right for a leader not to be well versed with local languages,” he said.

Chamisa said the language issue was part of the dictates of the constitution and should be taken seriously.

Speaking on challenges the Silobela community was facing, he promised to bring solutions.

“I know that you do not have a local authority here and people have to go to Kwekwe, but that too will change. Our devolution programme will sort that out,” Chamisa said.
On the water crisis, Chamisa said they would ensure that every borehole has a solar pump to ease the burden on women.

“We want to uplift women and so when we fix the water crisis they have ample time to do other productive things,”

He castigated the distribution of food along party lines and said his government would not be about the party but the people.

Chamisa got the biggest cheers when he offered to personally address the issue dogging Jena mine. The mine has not paid some of its workers since 2012.

“How can you not be paid when there is so much gold? When I assume office I will personally come down here and put an end to your suffering,” he said.

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