The headman had been trying to oust the headmaster, Ignatius Chimbidzika, from the school for allegations of ill-treating school children and that he does not belong to the area as well as to Zanu (PF).
The headman, believed to be on the run, had failed to mobilise parents to support him in ousting Chimbidzika from the school.
In an interview with the Crisis Report Team, Isaac Gatsi, a local in the Ndire area confirmed the incident.
Gatsi said Headman Chikwasha publicly threatened the headmaster at Musengezi Secondary School with death in January.
Gatsi alleged at that meeting Headman Chikwasha vowed to get rid of Chimbidzika before elections in 2013.
According to Gatsi, headman Chikwasha issued the death threats at a meeting held with parents where he allegedly said the following:
“Ignatius Chimbidzika is not from this area so are his colleagues. It is in my authority as the headman of these 27 villages, whose jurisdiction was granted to me by Chief Kristain Chirume, Mambo Matsiwo, that I may empower youths from my area to take up teaching jobs to replace those who are not from this area.
“I intend to make sure that Chimbidzika is relieved of his duties, if no other measures are taken. He is not from this area and more so he is the root planting MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) activism in Ward 5 and this is not acceptable. We are a Zanu (PF) stronghold and his existence has brought us more disgrace than peace.”
According to Gatsi, Chimbidzika reported the threats and harassment to Chidodo Police Station and the Ministry of Education, but no action was taken by both parties.
Gatsi also lamented the inaction from Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC), which despite having been sensitised on the increasing cases of political violence in Musengezi, had not taken the initiative to engage the victims and the accused.
Meanwhile JOMIC co-chairs have called for civil society organisations, including women’s groups, to address perpetrators of Gender Based Violence (GBV) as a strategy to end sexual violence against women and girls.
Addressing members of civil society, diplomats, traditional leaders and government officials at a women and Peace Conference hosted by Musasa Project at Wild Geese in Harare, the JOMIC co-chairs also urged traditional chiefs to support the campaign against GBV in homes and communities.
JOMIC Co-chairperson, Tabitha Khumalo, said women should take their issues to the streets so as to amplify their voices.
“We are telling these stories to ourselves; we must take them to Africa Unity Square and address the perpetrator. Gone are the days when the issue of rape was taboo”, said Khumalo.
Khumalo commended Zimbabwe’s gender sensitive laws, but said the greatest challenge was silence on the demand for use and implementation of the laws and policies by the people.
She shared similar experiences from Kenya and Rwanda on how issues to do with violence are discussed while isolating sexual violence against women and girls.
“In the cases of the Kenya and Rwanda, many women were raped but the attitude was that rape is normal and when you are raped do not tell,” said Khumalo.
Khumalo also expressed disappointment at the continued use of traditional culture in muzzling the voices of sexual violence victims. She added that sexual victimisation is often shrouded by social myths and is continuously perpetuated by cultural practices.
“Time has come, for the truth to be told and we have to do away with cultural norms that violate our rights as women,” added Khumalo.
JOMIC co-chairperson, Oppah Muchinguri shared how issues of perception and culture disadvantaged women especially during the land reform program.
“The women who were in the land reform committee were reduced to only serve tea and pray during the meetings. In the end we were not properly represented and did not acquire the land,” said Muchinguri.
She also added that in order to address the issues of culture, women should also play a proactive role.
“We are mothers, it is the responsibility of a mother to socialise her children into the community. The challenges that our girls face in this world are that sometimes we don’t impart life skills in them so that they have the confidence necessary in life.”
“Traditions are hard to die, and culture should not remain in the hands of our traditional chiefs. We should interrogate cultural practices that violate human rights and influence our traditional leaders,” added Muchinguri.
Ellen Shiriyedenga, who stood in for smaller MDC faction minister, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, urged women to take the stand to discuss issues of sexual violence freely and address the unequal power relations between men and women.