Remarks made by Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa encouraging students to learn to manufacture guns and bombs have been widely criticized.
The averments were captured on camera by the state broadcaster, ZBC, in a video that has since gone viral.
It shows Mnangagwa on a visit to a school and encouraging school children to master the craft of making weapons of war.
In the video, the President said: “Study hard because among you we want engineers who can manufacture guns and also helicopters and fighter jets to bomb our enemies.”
Obert Masaraure, president of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), said Mnangagwa knows what is likely to befall him due to poor governance, the reason why he is unsettled to the extent of teaching students about violence.
“The mind of Emmerson Mnangagwa is poisoned with the love of power,” he said.
“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 said as teachers, they are educating people to build a prosperous Zimbabwe not to be involved in senseless wars aimed at preserving the interests of a few.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition chairperson, Peter Mutasa concurred with Masaraure saying Mnangagwa should be very careful of what he says.
“There is nothing new about this. We know our rulers adore violence and are ready to use it to sustain their power,” said Mutasa.
“It was however inappropriate for the President to use such examples to 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 said the NGO mother body is demanding answers from President Mnangagwa on how Zimbabweans are going to survive under these economic and social conditions.
“This is the most important matter,” he said.