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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Nyanga teachers threatened for refusing Zanu PF access to school
    Obey Manayiti, The Standard (Zimbabwe)
    July 07, 2013

    Teachers at a rural school in Nyanga North were recently threatened by state security agents after they refused to grant Zanu-PF permission to hold the party’s primary elections at the school premises during learning time.

    Teachers at Kagore primary school told The Standard that they were summoned to Nyanga where they were questioned for their motives by refusing to let Zanu-PF hold elections at their school.

    The teachers said they were now living in fear following the incident and some were contemplating leaving the school.

    “They are bringing horrible times to our families. We cannot continue living here where some of us are being randomly picked for harassment because we followed the what the minister [David Coltart] said in reference to schools and political parties,” said a teacher who requested anonymity.

    Parents also expressed concern saying that harassment of teachers would negatively affect their children at the school.

    “We now fear that we could lose our teachers unnecessarily,” said one parent who refused to be named in fear of victimisation.

    MP for the area and MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora confirmed that teachers at the school were harassed after they refused to grant Zanu-PF permission to hold the party’s primary elections at the school premises.

    “The headmaster and his team at the said school are just following the directive from the Education minister Coltart, that schools must not be abused by political parties. That harassment speaks volumes about what’s to come. We will refuse this abuse,” he said. He added: “Zanu-PF is abusing both state apparatus and the state institutions to try to further its sordid political goals. The new constitution especially Section 208 in Chapter 11 clearly states security services must never be partisan, not to further political interest of any party or to prejudice the interests of other political parties.”

    Acting Manicaland Provincial Education director, Andrew Chigumira confirmed that permission to hold Zanu-PF primary elections at the school was not granted but denied that teachers were threatened.

    Manicaland police spokesperson Inspector Enock Chishiri said he was not aware of the allegations.

    Efforts to get a comment from Zanu-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo were fruitless last week.

    Zanu-PF suspicious of teachers

    Thousands of teachers left their work stations in rural schools during the violent 2008 elections as Zanu-PF youth militia embarked on a reign of terror against them accusing them of supporting Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T.

    Some sought refuge in urban areas while others skipped the country and got employed I countries such as Botswana and South Africa.

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