- Southern Africa
- Conflicts - Education - Governance
Non Zanu-pf school children being flushed out educational system
A crackdown has been launched by war veterans to flush out of Government schools all children whose parents are suspected to be Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
The operation is said to be for now concentrated in Lupane, a vast rural district in Matabeleland North.
Villagers say it started over a month ago.
"They are saying all schools countrywide are Zanu PF one’s so our children cannot benefit from them. We should build our own MDC schools that we should send our children to," said Mandla Moyo.
Moyo says his three children, all in primary grades where chased away by the former freedom fighters, who have caused a lot of harm while pushing Robert Mugabe’s bid to cling on to power since 2000.
Teachers at nearby schools also confirmed the crackdown and said that they could not do anything against the war veterans, who they say, have always threatened to turn on them anytime they are prevented from punishing the MDC.
The war veterans are said to have vowed that they will not rest until all children whose parents are MDC supporters stop attending school. At some of the schools, they are alleged to have even threatened to deal with teachers for allowing those children they would have chased to return.
"We have no choice but to follow their orders because they are a law unto themselves and the education ministry is doing nothing about that despite us having reported the matter to them," said a headmaster at one of the schools.
Education officials in the province said that their hands were also tied on the matter."They claim that they are carrying out orders from the ZANU (PF) officials and who are we to challenge that. This is no longer an issue of working for one’s family, but keeping one’s life as well," said an official.
However, ZANU (PF) denies any knowledge of the intimidation.
"We know nothing about that. Why do those people report to you instead of the police if such things are happening?" fumed party national chairman, John Nkomo.