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Zimbabwe Teachers Union Warns of Escalating Violence Against Teachers

  • Tatenda Gumbo

Progressive Teachers Union President Takavafira Zhou said the PTUZ is telling schools and administrators facing violence to stop teaching to focus attention on the need for the government to protect them

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe says violence against teachers and school administrators has escalated with alleged war veterans and ZANU-PF-aligned politicians attempting to take control of institutions around the country.

The PTUZ said the headmaster of Donsa Dam Primary Cchool in Kwekwe, Midlands province, narrowly escaped injury from a gasoline bomb thrown into his house after alleged war veterans had demanded his resignation.

The veterans were said to have told the headmaster to surrender the keys to the school accusing him of being aligned to the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change, which has shared power with ZANU-Pf since 2009.

PTUZ officials said the headmaster, awake at the time, bolted through a window and received minor burns. He sought refuge at a nearby secondary school.

In Gutu district, a ZANU-PF Ward 15 Chairman named Mododo was said to have written letters to eight schools instructing headmasters to make teachers attend ZANU-PF rallies.

The Ministry of Education has banned political and military rallies on school grounds, as Minister David Coltart says this undermines teaching and learning.

But the union charged that these recent incidents by politicians and war veterans aligned to ZANU-PF have become a threat to all teachers in the country.

Progressive Teachers Union President Takavafira Zhou said the PTUZ is telling schools and administrators facing violence to stop teaching as a way to focus attention on the need for the government to protect them.

Zhou said teachers must make a stand against violence since police failed to apply the law and the Education Ministry has failed teachers.

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