Zanu PF intimidates teachers
ZANU PF is now targeting teachers in rural areas which it is intimidating
and coercing to support the party and help it mobilise voters ahead of
watershed polls expected later this year.
Sources told the Zimbabwe Independent this week teachers in Zanu PF
strongholds in Mashonaland provinces, Midlands, Masvingo and Manicaland are
under increasing pressure to pledge their support to the party.
Last week teachers in these regions were given forms titled Special Vote
Requirement to fill in all their identity details and current stations
without being told the purpose of the forms. It is feared this is part of
Zanu PFs voter intimidation and mobilisation strategy.
We were just asked to complete these forms and return them to the
headmasters who will surrender them to Zanu PF offices, said one teacher in
The forms shown to this paper ask the teachers for their details including
full names, employment numbers, ward and constituencies of origin.
The forms have unnerved teachers who fear a recurrence of the 2008 election
violence in which they became targets of brutality after being accused of
supporting the MDC-T.
Zimbabwe teachers’ unions said their members have, as in 2008, become
targets of political violence intended to silence them ahead of elections.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary-general Raymond
Majongwe said Zanu PF was out to intimidate vulnerable teachers in rural
areas to secure votes.
We have reports of such intimidation in all the provinces in the country and
this is a clear case of intimidation ahead of elections, said Majongwe.
Those forms do not serve any purpose except to intimidate our members who
now feel they are under serious scrutiny.
Majongwe also said headmasters from Manicaland and Mashonaland provinces
were taken for political orientation lessons during the school holidays and
are expected to mobilise support for Zanu PF.
We have reports Zanu PF was working with the Zimbabwe Teachers Association
during the holidays and they conducted political orientation lectures. Some
headmasters were taken to Chimoio in Mozambique, and all this is meant to
influence the teachers votes,he said.
Recently the PTUZ alleged a new wave of violence is rising against teachers
under an operation code-named Operation Vharamuromo, (operation close your
mouth) intended to suppress anti-Zanu PF dissent and critics.
A 2010 survey by the PTUZ suggested between 65 000 -75 000 teachers were
displaced due to violence by war veterans and youth militia prior to the
June 2008 blood-soaked presidential election run-off.