Magaranhewe Primary and Secondary School teachers in Rushinga District Ward 12 are leaving in fear after they received chilling death threats from ZANU PF members recently.
The death threats were contained in petitions signed by 24 people which were addressed to Magaranhewe Primary and Secondary School Heads.
One of the petition allegedly written by Matthew Skepa and dated 31 October 2023 stated that, “We no longer want a teacher by the name Benjamin Gumbu at our school, Magaranhewe Primary School with immediate effect.
If you continue working with him, he will vaccate the school as a dead person.
We will destroy his house and also do something to his family as a way of showing our disgruntlement.”
Daniel Mwale the Headmaster at Magaranhewe Primary School confirmed to this publication to have received the petition but he was not at liberty to comment since he had already informed his superiors about the matter and they were supposed to comment.
Frantic efforts to contact the District Schools Inspector, Mr Chingoni were fruitless as his mobile could not be reached before going to print.
“On the 1st of November 2023, I woke up in the morning and to my surprise there was a petition on my door step threatening me with death and demolition of my house which I am building at my stand”, Gumbu said.
Gumbu filed a criminal report at Rushinga Police Station for the threats he received under RRB Number 5627615.
The case will be investigated under Mt Darwin CID Law and Order.
Another petition was also addressed to Magaranhewe Secondary School Headmaster and copied to Charles Zuka and Pamela Matiza both teachers at the school.
The petition reads, “We advice you that we no longer require the services of Mr Zuka and Mrs Matiza at our school, Magaranhewe Secondary School with immediate effect because they are not teaching our children and they are killing the future of the children.
So as parents, we are going to kill the teachers before they kill our children and our community.”
The teachers being threatened are known Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) supporters in the community.
The victimisation started during 2023 elections campaign period.
“They started persecuting and threatening to make me disappear when we were towards the 23 – 24 August 2023 elections”, Zuka said.
The teacher did not report the case then as he thought the threats would end after elections but he will be making a criminal report as the threats are intensfying.
Anyway Skepa, a village head who was ZANU PF election agent, Matthew Skepa who was also ZANU PF agent and Mrs Zimbango the ZANU PF chairwoman are the faces behind our political persecution, said Zuka.
Village Head, Skepa is said to have named teachers who sympathised with CCC during ZANU PF rallies.
“They also discussed about us when Honourable Tendai Nyabani, Rushinga Member of Parliament was addressing Zanu Pf meeting with village heads under the leadership of headman Magaranhewe , who also doubles as the Magaranhewe Secondary School Head”, Zuka said.
The teachers have been constantly accused of affiliating with CCC.
Zuka went on to say that, “They have accused me of teaching their children politics instead of history”.
When contacted for comment, intially Honourable Nyabani professed ignorance of the petitions but promised to look into the matter.
“I managed to talk to to the District School Inspector who told me the issue was administrative.
The teachers were not teaching students as revealed when their books were inspected,” Honourable Nyabani later informed the writer.
Honourable Nyabani said that, the petition was not made by ZANU PF but by parents who raised their issues and that does not concern any political involvement.
“If the teacher insists that it is connected to politics, I will take the issue with the provincial education office in Bindura and he will also be punished for that.
The District Schools Inspector will not talk to you, as he will tell you that he is not allowed to talk to media and he will refer you to the provincial office”, Honourable Nyabani added on.
Skepa, the Village Head said that, the teachers were not teaching their children but they were victimising them for ZANU PF victory in the elections.
“They tell our children that they will continue to eat pumpkins when theirs are eating bread since we voted wrongly”, said Skepa.
Matthew Skepa who wrote the petition as alleged by Anyway Skepa could not be reached for comment as his phone was not reachable.
Skepa, the Village Head went on to say, “As parents we set down and decided to write a petition so that our issues could be swiftly attended to”.
Some of the signatories to the petition denied appending their signatures freely.
Romeo Nyauye one of the petitioners said that, “I was not present when the meetings were held, I do not even know why I signed, infact I was forced to sign the petition by the people who were leading the exercise”.
Shelter Magara, a signatory promised to phone back to this publication since she was in a meeting by the time she was called.
“I told you I am busy”, said Magara before she hanged her phone when the following day she was contacted for follow up.
Gumburai Jeremiah, a Magaranhewe Primary School teacher is alleged to peform ZANU PF slogans on the school assembly and is not subject to any petitions and has never received any death threat.
The petitioned teachers are living in fear for their lives as they are not aware of what the petitioners can do to them.
Rushinga FAZ member popularly known as “Casper”, Victor Dzaoma is said to be the person engineering the petitioning of teachers.
This publication is in custody of copies of the petitions.