Teachers join 'madora' rush

SOME have gone as far as suggesting that government should be flexible with staffing to allow teachers and civil servants in Matabeleland South time to harvest mopane worms (madora) which have this year come out in unusually high quantity.

Government has rubbished those seemingly bizarre suggestions insisting anyone not found at their station will be punished.

Either way, both parties are agreeing on one point and that is the delicacy has assumed heavyweight significance in Zimbabwe.

“Well, mopane worms are very nutritious,” Education minister Lazarus Dokora said in the National Assembly last week.

Dokora spoke after Chief Nyangazonke of Kezi, Matabeleland South had asked if there was any punishment for teachers who leave their duties to go and collect mopane worms.

While the question drew laughter from the house, Dokora attempted to address it in a diplomatic manner.
“It could very well be we need to look at the particular circumstances that are taking place in that particular school,” Dokora said.

Mopane worms have provided some relief to thousands of unemployed people who see it as a deliverance from the dire economic conditions in this southern African country.

Villagers are harvesting hundreds of kilogrammes of the delicacy and are already making a living by selling 20kg of the worms at $15 and this is at the point of harvest.

The delicacy has not been seen in many years.

“You are well aware that we are doing school feeding and in some communities the question of relish has been raised and local initiatives have also been flagged,” Dokora said.

“So, I would not give a blanket answer unless we know what the circumstances are.

“For the outsider, it may look like teachers are out on mopane worms collection exercise, but let us understand what the circumstances are. If the Senator has a specific situation, we can look at it.”

The worm is called mopane because it feeds on the leaves of mopane trees after it hatches in summer.—Farayi Machamire

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