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Renewed Violence Against Rural Teachers Amid Zimbabwe Political Crisis - Union

With political tension currently running high in Zimbabwe, intimidation and violence are rising in the country's rural schools, the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said Friday.

The union said the resurgence of violence targeting teachers could scuttle the forthcoming round of national exams arranged with great difficulty by the government.

The PTUZ says youth militia associated with the ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe have gone on the offensive against rural teachers in the wake of the disengagement by the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai from its ZANU-PF partner in the unity government over alleged power-sharing violations.

The union reported incidents in Chiweshe, Mashonaland Central province, Buhera, Manicaland province, and Murehwa, Mashonaland East.

PTUZ General Secretary Raymond Majongwe said his union is receiving reports every day of increasing violence against rural teachers targeted in 2008 post-election violence because they were regarded as opposition loyalists in traditional ZANU-PF strongholds.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...