Zim Teachers Face Fresh Political Violence

The Progress Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president, Raymond Majongwe told a a press conference in Harare on Tuesday that his organisation had received reports of teachers being victimized since the day President Robert Mugabe announced that elections could take place next year.

Six teachers from Gwangwava Primary School in Rushinga were recently forcibly transferred to other schools in Bindura after war veterans and Zanu (PF) supporters said they did not want the teachers in their community.

The six, who are all PTUZ members consist of two couples, one male and one female teacher.

According to Majongwe, PTUZ feared for the reachers’ lives because the district education office in Bindura, working in cahoots with the war veterans, transferred the six to Zanu (PF) strongholds so that they could ‘fix’ them.

“We want to put on record as an organisation that the situation in and around schools is starting to disturb us,” Majongwe said.

He said teachers were being victimised at a time when the GNU (Government of National Unity) was showing obvious signs of cracks. He said Zanu (PF) supporters led by war veterans had threatened to cleanse the Mashonaland province of any members of the PTUZ.”

“We don’t need this. It is unnecessary and uncalled for,” Majongwe said. “What we have is a serious challenge around the failure by government to address teachers’ salaries.”

“This election that is coming will not solve any problems facing teachers, infact the election will increase grave yards and opharns.”

Majongwe said his organisation had written to Education minister, David Coltart to intervene. They were also planning to approach Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai so he can talk to President Robert Mugabe to convince his supporters to end the teachers’ victimisation.

Zimbabwe teachers, especially in rural areas, have over the years been the target of political violence by war veterans and Zanu (PF) supporters who accuse them of supporting the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The situation saw hordes of Zimbabwe’s teachers running away to enighbouring countries like South Africa, Botswana and to countries overseas.