The Zanu PF Youth League is allegedly forcing schools to handover buses to party activists who are set to join the so-called million-man-march in Harare on Wednesday to show support for President Robert Mugabe.
Though school officials declined to comment in fear of being victimized, some parents of children attending schools in Chinhoyi, Mashonaland West province, expressed dismay over the issue saying they are not obliged to release buses to any political organization.
The Zanu PF Youth League, which wrote a letter recently instructing all public and private schools to provide buses for the million-man-march, allocated locally-available buses to various districts without the knowledge of headmasters and school development associations.
One of the schools, Lomagundi College, has already indicated that they won’t provide any transport, much to the chagrin of the Youth League members who are now threatening to take unspecified action against the headmaster.
Most school authorities declined to comment on the issue in fear of being victimized. But parents with children attending some schools in the province said they are not happy with what Zanu PF youth are doing.
Tabeth Chifamba of Sinoia Primary School said she is now expected to pay more money for her Grade Five child since she is funding some Zanu PF activities.
Another local parent, Phelimon Svosve, said it is unfair for Zanu PF to use force to get what it wants from poor people in Mashonaland West province.
Chifamba said headmasters are finding themselves in a tight situation as they cannot release the requested buses before getting the greenlight from parents of school-going children.
Svosve added that parents are now expected to pay for fuel costs and drivers’ allowances while on Zanu PF business.
But Zanu PF local youth coordinator, Tatenda Chitate, said every government ministry should support President Mugabe’s leadership by providing all the necessary help to ensure that the million-man-march is a big success.
Provincial director of the Ministry of Education in Mashonaland West, Sylvester Mashayamombe, said his office cannot issue any statement at the moment as they are still consulting relevant authorities over this issue.
He confirmed that some of their district offices received a letter from Zanu PF requesting schools to release buses for the march.
In response to questions posed by Studio 7, permanent secretary for Primary and Secondary Education, Dr. Sylivia J. Utete-Masango, said supports any solidarity shown to President Mugabe and as a result, they ordered all schools to provide buses for the event.
Most people say that the march expected to cost at least $600,000 is a waste of resources.