Domenica, 07 Febbraio 2016 11:12

<div> | Zim 'schoolgirl prostitutes' cartoon sparks fury</div>

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Harare - A cartoon in a popular Zimbabwe daily that appearedto suggest women from the south of the country valued sex work more than schoolgrades has sparked outrage.

The Bulawayo-based Chronicle newspaper

says the cartoon wasslipped into Thursday's edition without editorial approval.

It has suspended the cartoonist, named on Friday by thepaper as Wellington Musapenda.

His cartoon showed two scantily-clad women pointing to abillboard that says students from Matabeleland and Midlands provinces"post worst school results," a reference to recently-released gradesfor A-level examinations, Zimbabwe's equivalent of matric.

One of them says to the other: "We excel in other areasdon't we Thembi?"

Snapshots of the cartoon were shared on social media,prompting an angry response - but also starting a conversation on why grades inthose parts of Zimbabwe were lower than in other areas.

Chronicle editor Mduduzi Mathuthu wrote on Friday that thecartoon had "unacceptable sexist and tribal undertones".

He said the cartoonist had sent the cartoon for publicationwithout it first being approved.

"The offensive cartoon, against standing rules, was notsubmitted for review to any of the four senior editorial executives during theeditorial conference," he said.

Matabeleland North province had the worst pass rate in thecountry at A-level, results released by the national examinations board Zimsecshowed last week. Rates of those attaining a Grade E and above were 83.6% forgirls and 76.5% for boys, figures that in fact do not appear too alarming sincean E is still a pass.

Harare provinces got the best grades.

Zimbabweans have been asking on Twitter if the reason forthe lower grades in the south of the country could be to do with the amount offunding devoted to these areas.

The editor of the Herald daily, Caesar Zvayi tweeted:"Good call. Chronicle axes cartoonist after outrage."

More charitably, press watchdog @ZimMediaReview said:"Hopefully there's some remedial action that doesn't involve him losinghis job completely."

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