Zanu (PF) holds rallies at St Pauls Musami

threatens to expel teachers
MUREWA WEST - Zanu (PF) thugs in Murewa, aided by the local school headmaster Richard Hlombe and Father T Silungwe, have started carrying out political rallies at St Paul's Musami Mission and are threatening civil servants with expulsion if they are suspected of supporting MDC.

The mission has both a primary and secondary school with a combined teaching staff of over 60 and around 30 nurses. Zanu (PFs) invasion of the education sector has prompted the areas MP, Ward Nezi, to seek the intervention of the Ministry of Education.

The ministry banned political parties from holding meetings at schools and the Zanu (PF) rallies are in defiance to this directive. Zanu (PF), which lost the constituency to the MDC, last week ordered all the teachers and nurses to attend a rally from around 1pm until 5pm.

The school head has publicly stated that he supports Zanu (PF) and has been misusing the school truck for party activities. We hope that the ministry intervenes to stop the rot, one teacher said. Some teachers were told that they should not talk to known MDC activists and many people now even fear associating with their relatives as they dont want to be victimized, a school nurse commented.

MDC officials in the area slammed the decision by the school head to allow politics to enter the school domain. Politics should be kept out of school. Why is Zanu (PF) interfering in school matters? The police were there but they did nothing as they are biased. If the MDC carries out a meeting at the school then members are immediately arrested, said an MDC official, who asked not to be named.

Nezihas said politics creeping into education constituted an abuse of children: They are interfering with childrens rights to education. The ministry should stop this nonsense. The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) said the minister had admitted in a meeting with the unions on May 6 that there is indeed anarchy in the sector. He acknowledged the lack of capacity in the ministry to police the system. Consequently, teachers have been reduced to sheepish victims of the rule of men and anarchy, PTUZ revealed in a statement.

We command all chiefs, SDCs (School Development Committees) and responsible authorities to take their hands off all professional and labour issues at schools. [They] must simply accept that no matter how much appetite they may have to control teachers, there is a limit to their powers and functions, the PTUZ committee said.

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