Lazarus Dokora

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Lazarus Dokora
Lazarus Dokora, Minister of Education
BornLazarus Dokora
(1957-03-11) March 11, 1957 (age 67)
EducationUniversity of Zimbabwe
Alma materUniversity of Zimbabwe
  • Former Minister of Primary and Secondary Education
Years active2013 to 2017
Known forChanging the Curriculum , Introducing the National Pledge, Introducing E-Map( Form -1 Online Application)
Political partyZimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front

Lazarus Dokora is a Zimbabwean politician and the former Minister of Primary and Secondary education. Dokora is a member of the Zanu-PF political party. He is a former Member of Parliament for Rushinga Constituency.


Lazarus Dokora was born on November 3, 1957.[1]


Dokora holds a BA Hons degree as well as an MA from the University of Zimbabwe[2]


in Education Sector

Dokora started off as a classroom teacher in Zimbabwe. He taught at both Ordinary and Advanced Level before he transferred from the school system in 1982 to Seke Teachers’ Training College where he remained for the next four years. In 1986, he was then assigned on a mission to Cuba under the Zimbabwe-Cuba technical cooperation programme. [3] The programme unfolded for ten years. Dokora worked as an academic coordinator at the Filial University de Manuel de Cespedes, Isle of Youth, Cuba. Eventually, he became the director of the programme succeeding the first director, Fabian Pesanayi. On his return to Zimbabwe in 1996, Dokora joined the University of Zimbabwe as a lecturer where he taught Introduction to Theories of Communication, Critique of Theories of Communication and Mass Communication, International Media Structures and Media Economics.[2] He left the Univerisity in 2000. He also worked with the team that set out to establish Vocational Training Centres across the country.[3]

As a politician

After leaving his job as a lecturer, Dokora contested for the Rushinga parliamentary seat in Mashonaland Central province, which he won with 20 027 votes, his closest competitor, Joel Mugariri of the MDC had 2 438 votes. Dokora lost the seat five years later to Sandra Machirori, with 22 494 votes. However 16 months later, Machirori passed on, necessitating a by-election which he contested and won. [3]

In the 2000 Elections, (see A History of Zimbabwean Elections) Rushinga returned to Parliament:

As a Minister

Dokora joined the Zimbabwe government when he was appointed Minister of Primary and Secondary Education in 2013. In his tenure as minister, he courted a lot of controversy from a cross-section of society.[4] and he was given the nicknames Minister of Change and Cyclone Dokora .[5]


Changes Made to the Education Sector When Dokora was Minister 2013 to 2017

The Education Ministry headed by Dokora indicated that they borrowed concepts from the Nziramasanga Presidential Commission of Inquiry report on education and training carried out in 1999 which chiefly recommended a review of the education curriculum to incorporate psychomotor skills in Zimbabwe’s children. [6]

Some notable changes include an emphasis on practical subjects, supplementary feeding in schools, banning of corporal punishment, housing incentives for teachers, banning of extra-lessons in schools, and provision of further education scholarship for teachers, now called classroom facilitators.

  • He removed teachers’ incentives that had been introduced at the height of the hyper-inflationary era of 2008
  • He outlawed holiday and extra lessons in all primary and secondary schools, insisting that pupils need time to rest.
  • He directed that all schools should procure buses from named bus manufacturers, which government had entered into a multi-million dollar deal with to provide buses on credit. This raised eyebrows given that the minister had signed the deal without consulting schools with some suspecting that Dokora could have been an interested party in the transaction.
  • He introduced the transfer of funds from School Development Associations to the Schools Services Fund.
  • He introduced the national pledge, triggering street protests, which, however, fizzled out.
  • Proposed a policy that would have seen teachers from schools that fail to attain an average of at least 50 percent pass rate at all examination levels having their monthly salaries cut by the same percentage for three months. The proposal, however, did not succeed.
  • He wanted cameras installed in classrooms in order to monitor teachers, but the idea was just not feasible given that probably more than half the country’s schools have no access to electricity to power the cameras.
  • He banned sporting activities during the week, pushing them onto weekends, but again the directive was only adhered to briefly.
  • He introduced an online Form One enrolment programme.
  • He proposed that private colleges should form an association called the Zimbabwe Independent Colleges Association to regulate themselves and standardize their operations. [6]

Examination Fee Hikes

There was a public outrage when the former minister announced that the government was considering introducing examination fees whereas in recent years the grade seven exams were offered to students free of charge. There were also proposals to increase examination fees for Ordinary levels were to be increased from 13 dollars to fifteen dollars. [4] Although the minister reiterated that fee hikes were meant to curb examinations from leaking but most analysts argued that the government should be sensitive to the fact that most Zimbabweans were not employed.

Condoms Issue

Dokora also torched a storm when he proposed that students should be given condoms by their parents as a way of protecting them from the dangers associated with unprotected sex.[7] Lazarus Dokora maintained that he would not allow condoms to be openly distributed in schools but argued that since parents were responsible for teaching their children life skills, they could as well hand out condoms to their children.

Banning of Extra and Holiday Lessons

During the economic meltdown of 2008, the country witnessed an unprecedented prominence of extra and holiday lessons in schools. The practice was widely practiced in boarding as well as day schools and Dokora argued that the practice was illegal. [8] The move provoked many parents and school administrators who argued that although teachers got extra money from the enterprise, the students were the main beneficiaries of the practice. Prominent people like Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri also insisted that extra lessons should not be banned as they helped the teaching of slow learning students. Dokora, however, put an end to the practice.

E-Map Lawsuit

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education was accused of stealing the idea for its E- MAP online enrolment system by Harare company Purple Divine Technology which said it pitched the idea to the Ministry which in turn went on to use the idea without their approval.

Farm Mechanisation Scheme

In July 2020, Lazarus Dokora was listed, in the BSR of 18 July 2020, as a beneficiary in the 2007 RBZ Farm Mechanisation Scheme, as a result of the Fast Track Land Reform Programme.

The data is analysed by recipients origin:.

  • Mashonaland provinces had the most beneficiaries, both in terms of numbers and value.

Mashonaland East got US$47,5 million,
Mashonaland West US$44,7 million
Mashonaland Central had US$34,2 million.

  • Two Matebeleland provinces had a combined total of US$13,9 million.
  • Masvingo US$26,4 million,
  • Manicaland US$18 million
  • Midlands US$14 million.

Lazarus Dokora is listed under the thematic group “Politicians”. According to the list, he got a loan of US$82,719.00. [9]


In May 2017 Lazarus Dokora was involved in a hit and run car accident at the intersection of Lomagundi and Harare Drive, heading north towards Westgate. It was reported that the former minister was unhurt but his car was damaged and almost beyond repair. The accident reportedly occurred at around midnight and the former minister was alone in the vehicle when he was side-swiped by a speeding vehicle whose driver somehow contrived to overtake him on the left side. The car was reportedly taken to the Central Mechanical Engineering Department (CMED) before the accident was reported to the police. [10]


In December 2017 after Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in as the new president, he dissolved his cabinet and Dokora was not included in the new administration. He was succeeded by Paul Mavima who had deputized him in the previous administration. Dokora's dismissal was welcomed by members of the public and the education sector. The Zimbabwe Teachers Association reportedly indicated that Dokora did not consult nor listen to them before making decisions and in the end imposed decisions on them. [11]

Alleged Assassination Attempt

A source told that there was an attempt on Lazarus Dokora's life on 13 September 2021 in Bindura. According to the report, Dokora reported the attempt on his life at the Bindura Central police station.

It is alleged the hit-men used claw hammers to smash the former minister’s vehicle before they abandoned the mission after realising he was not in the car. Although the incident could have been an attempted robbery or intimidation tactic, the source and publication chose to label it as an assassination attempt.

Dokora was challenging Kazembe Kazembe for the Mashonaland Central provincial chairperson post. [12]


  1. DOBs, The Bearded Man, Published: June 21, 2007, Retrieved: August 7, 2015
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mr Lazarus Dokora, the University of Zimbabwe, Published: No date given, Retrieved: August 7, 2015,
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Dokora: When the Heavens stop smiling , , Published: 27 December 2017 , Retrieved: 29 January 2018
  4. 4.0 4.1 Silas Nkala Examination fees hike sparks anger, Southern Eye, Published: No date given
  5. [ New schools curriculum: Change for the sake of change], , Published: 3 November 2016 , Retrieved: 30 January 2018
  6. 6.0 6.1 Dokora experimenting with children’s future, Finacial Gazette, Published: 19 January 2017, Retrieved: 30 January 2018
  7. Veranda Langa Untrained teachers to go back to school, Southern Eye, Published: , Retrieved: August 7, 2015
  8. Dokora’s affinity for controversy now legendary, The Standard, Published: May 10, 2015, Retrieved: August 7, 2015.
  9. loan of US$325,368.00-Farm-Mechanisation-Scheme BSR EXCLUSIVE: Beneficiaries of the RBZ Farm Mechanisation Scheme], Big Saturday Read, Published: 18 July 2020 Retrieved: 18 July 2020
  10. Minister Escapes Death by whisker, , Published: 30 May 2017 , Retrieved: 29 January 2018
  11. Teachers Unions welcome Dokora sacking, , Published: 4 December 2017 , Retrieved: 29 January 2018
  12. Leopold Munhende, Ex-Minister Dokora Survives Assassination Attempt As Zanu PF Fights Get Nasty,, Published: September 17, 2021, Retrieved: September 17, 2021

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