The suspected state agents severely assaulted and injured six teachers out of the 30 Victoria High School staff complement, who tried to reason against engaging in the strike since parents with students at the school were paying them a US$300 monthly incentive each.
Some of the assaulted teachers were hospitalised at the private Makurira Memorial clinic after sustaining varying injuries.
Sources at the school said they beleived that, the headmaster, Mr Jacob Chademana, who is a Zanu PF loyalist might have had a hand in the assault of some teachers for refusing to join the strike.
”The understanding amongst teachers and parents was that teachers were going to receive US$100 per month each as an incentive in return for them contiuning to conduct classes irrespective of what the government was paying but we were shocked to see heavily armed men forcing us to stop lessons on Tuesday or face consequences and those who refused to take heed were seriously assaulted,’said one of the teachers who refused to be named fearing persecution.”
Another teacher at the school added,’We strongly believe that Chademana(The Headmaster) had a hand in the move by the state agents because he was openly showing his support for the strike from the onset and seemed to like the idea of teachers at the school joining the strike despite the agreement between parents and teachers on the payment of incentives,”
Contacted for comment Chademana said:”Who told you that the people who assaulted some of my staff members were CIOs, we are in an inclusive government and its senseless for you to just conclude that the people who did that were sent by Zanu PF. Anyway what’s wrong if teachers just like other civil servants decide to join a strike pushing for improvement of their salaries.”
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe provincial co-ordinator, Munyaradzi Chauke confirmed the incident saying investigations were still underway but launched a verbal tirade against Zanu PF for financing torture and barbarism in the education sector.
” As PTUZ , we strongly condemn the assault of teachers and subsequent closure of Victoria High School because we believe that if teachers had an arrangement with parents in the payment of incentives, why then should students be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency, the attack on teachers was barbaric to say the least,”said Chauke.
The Movement of Democratic Change has said there is a third hand in the strike of civil servants meant to destabilise the gains of new unity government.