The economic hardship and Covid-19 lockdown induced effects have hard hit the civil servants and church leaders in Gokwe forcing them to compromise their professional standards.

The last few years have seen the Zimbabwean civil servant operate in a complex environment that has given rise to the continuous erosion of Professional Development and Status.

By standard, these were people who were committed to the teaching work and they were invisible from the society.

Teachers, nurses and members of the ZRP constituted an elite class in the Gokwe Communities and most parents were happy to see them marrying their daughters.

Apart from that, in the first two decades of independence (1980 – 2000) these Gokwe elites were mainly from Masvingo and other parts external to Gokwe community.

This is not because the people of Gokwe were not educated, but they were all absorbed into the cotton industry which was fast growing.

Beginning 2000 to date, the cotton industry began to experience some hiccups and the pupils of Gokwe began to leave cotton industry to pursue tertiary education.

It was the very time when the community began to experience economic hardships that pushed teachers and some church leaders to integrate themselves into the community.

At times teachers and church leaders participated in the community activities especially agricultural shows and burial and they were viewed with dignity.

Since Gokwe is an agricultural society, most of them provided a lucrative go-between (agents) role to the farmers by connecting them with the external market.

Some of them established good relations with land owners and leased a land where they grew their crops for sell or for personal consumption.

Some established permanent homes and became Gokwe residents and lived more on land than on salary income.

At times teachers could be seen begging pupils to bring them agricultural produce such as sweet rids, potatoes, melons, maize, ground nuts, pumpkins, vegetables and cow pees among others just as church leaders would berg from their congregates for the same.

However, with schools and churches closed, the feeding tunnels of the teachers and church leaders are closed.

The now visible trend in the Zhomba community of Gokwe is that some church leaders and teachers have turned to the community and entered into beer – alliances with some parents.

They provide sugar, yeast and some grains equivalent for the brewing of a 220 litter beer to the house holder.

In return, the house holder receives a commission of 20 litter bucket for all the services provided and the beer is sold at RTGS $20 or a 2kg of maize grains for a 2l scud. This is the same beer the teachers and church leaders used to shun and today it is a source of their livelihood – game change.

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