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Violence–affected teachers get lifeline


The Zimbabwe Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) last week announced measures to assist teachers affected by political violence which occurred before and after the presidential elections in 2008.
PTUZ is taking the affected teachers for counselling and providing them with basic commodities.
PTUZ has compiled a list of affected individuals from various provinces whom they invited to Harare for support.
However, only 15 showed up as most of the victims still fear for their safety.
“We are here to help them get over the traumatic moments they went through during election time and to assist those whose salaries are being withheld up to this day,” said PTUZ national treasurer Ladistous Zunde.
He said PTUZ had organised counselling sessions with professional counsellors and would supply groceries to the affected individuals.
Guide and Rosemary Takura, a married couple teaching in Chirumanzu were accused of encouraging people to vote for MDC. They learnt that a mob was to attack them at night and they fled to Buhera.
“One member of the mob told us that they wanted to kill us and burn our house at night so when we fled they burnt the house and stole our belongings,” said Rosemary Takura.
She said that they had returned to their home but were still living in the damaged house and had not received salaries yet.
“We have a big family of 14 and life has been difficult,” she said. Esiromu Machorokoto of Chikono village in Murehwa was attacked and beaten up by a mob at his home during the night after being accused of being a member of MDC.
He lost several teeth and his hip bone was injured.
“They attacked me claiming to be punishing me for hiding my sons who had run away of their own volition due to fear of the violence that was occurring in our area those days,” said Machorokoto.
Panganai Mhike, a secondary school teacher at Mudawarima Secondary School at Sadza growth point, said his salary was stopped in September 2008 and up to today, he has still not been paid.
He blamed Education ministry officials for their reluctance to intervene and restore the teachers’ salaries.

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