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Teachers dragged to pro-Mnangagwa workshops

by Staff reporter
19 Apr 2023 at 08:08hrs | Views
School teachers in Matabeleland say they have been forced to attend what unions feel are Zanu PF indoctrination workshops organised under the partisan #Teachers4ED banner.

The workshops, according to sources, are being facilitated by army officers and Zanu PF officials.

Schools in Insiza district, Matabeleland South were reportedly forced to each provide two teachers while it was also made compulsory for headmasters and their deputies to attend.

The workshop took place at Pangani Training Centre in Filabusi from April 14 to 15.

According to sources, schools were forced to pay an attendance fee of US$25 per teacher while a fee of just US$5 was accepted from those already carrying #Teachers4ED identification cards.

#Teachers4ED, named around President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa's initials, is a platform formed by pro-Zanu PF individuals to rally support for the Zimbabwe incumbent's reelections ambitions.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one schoolteacher who attended the Filabusi workshop said attendees were taken through Zanu PF ideology and the educators' role towards organising support for Mnangagwa in elections due not later than August this year.

"We were lectured about party ideology, the Zimbabwe economy, and our role as teachers in the upcoming elections.

"They said we need to influence the general populace to vote for the ruling party.

"We were taught party slogans and philosophy, socialism with Zimbabwean characteristics adopted from both Russia and China and harnessing national heritage for economic development," said the teacher.

Education Ministry spokespersons could not be readily reached for comment.

The launch of the #Teachers4ED union has raised renewed fears of intimidation and possible rigging in upcoming general elections as teachers are usually hired by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission as polling officers.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) has condemned the #Teachers4ED's bid to turn educators into Zanu PF loyalists.

"ARTUZ condemns the politicisation of the public service, politicisation which is being championed by the ED outfits," said the outspoken teachers group in a statement.

"Civil servants should be non-partisan so that they will impartially serve all citizens.

"The siphoning of financial resources by the Teachers4ED is scandalous and must be stopped."

ARTUZ urged parents to consider suing school heads if they divert school funds towards financing patently partisan programmes.

The Teachers4ED group is a carbon copy of various more groups outside the teaching profession that have been formed to drum up summon for Mnangagwa, whose job faces fierce contest from CCC opponent Nelson Chamisa.

Source - zimlive