‘Zanu PF, FAZ abused school facilities during elections’

Zanu PF and its shadowy Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ) were cited as the main culprits.

A LATEST report by the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) has exposed rampant abuse of school facilities by Zanu PF activists ahead of the disputed August elections in violation of a standing High Court order.

Latest data from the Artuz  School Violation report showed that at least 230 cases of abuse of school facilities were recorded in the run up to the polls.

Zanu PF and its shadowy Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ) were cited as the main culprits.

“Artuz national secretary Robson Chere cited examples of the reports Artuz received from teachers such as an incident that occurred on July 4, 2023 at Chidoma Primary School, where the headmaster ordered all students to return home to make way for a Zanu PF rally,” the report read in part.

“The Grade 7 classroom was used as the caucus room for Zanu PF officials. An ECD A classroom was used as the kitchen.”

The report also mentioned a case where Zanu PF held its presidential campaign rally on June 24, at Mutema Secondary School in Chipinge district and at Mapfungautsi Primary School in Gokwe.

Zanu PF commandeered buses from schools to ferry its supporters to the presidential rallies.

According to the report, FAZ officials forced teachers to attend the ruling party’s rallies or risk being labelled opposition supporters.

“In other incidents teachers in Matabeleland say they were forced to attend what unions feel were  Zanu PF indoctrination workshops organised under the partisan ‘#Teachers4ED banner,” Artuz reported.

Zanu PF director of information, Farai Marapira, said their meetings, which were held at schools, were legal when contacted for comment.

“What we do is legal. We work under the ambit of the law. Whether we do it here or there, it will be legal as we work under the law. Therefore our events are legal,” Marapira told NewsDay.

In 2018, Masvingo High Court judge, Justice Joseph Martin Mafusire barred Zanu PF from abusing learners, teachers and school property in pursuit of political interests.

The United Nations welcomed the ruling saying it was in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child which states “that the best interests of the child must be the paramount consideration in every situation, and at all times.”

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