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Zimbabwe Teacher Flees After Staging Protest With Students Over Deteriorating Situation in Schools

Njube High School students speaking with a district education officer following their public march in Bulawayo over the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwean schools.

A Zimbabwe teacher, who helped students to stage a peaceful protest over the deteriorating situation in schools, has fled to a neighboring country claiming that state security agents want to punish him for allegedly leading the march.

Brian Mutsiba says he left the country yesterday “after going underground for several hours on Monday as the police, members of the Central Intelligence Organization and military intelligence and other arms of the state were looking for me saying l committed a serious crime.”

Mutsiba, who asked VOA Studio 7 not to reveal his hideout, says he is monitoring the situation back home amid reports that “the police and other state security are looking for me all over the country.”

The teacher, who claims that he was asked by concerned students to help them organize the protest in Bulawayo, says his life is unsafe.
“I’m in this place (hideout) to save my life. I never thought this will one day happen to me. Students were expressing their right and I merely helped the students at Njube High School to do that. I have not committed any crime,” said Mutsiba, who declined to reveal the people and organizations that helped him to leave Zimbabwe.

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi was unavailable for comment as he was not responding to calls on his mobile phone.

Members of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association and others are on strike demanding salaries pegged on the interbank rates and improved working conditions.

The government recently awarded the teachers a 100 percent salary increase which they declined saying it’s not enough to cater for their needs.

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