ENOCK Paradzayi, the national co-ordinator of the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), has been charged with “disorderly conduct at a public place” after he allegedly blocked police from recording a warned-and-cautioned statement from a Bubi headmaster who lost 13 “O” Level examination question papers under mysterious circumstances last week.
Report by Silas Nkala, Staff Reporter
Initially, Paradzayi was being charged with obstructing the course of justice, a charge that was later altered to “disorderly conduct at a public place”.
Paradzayi (46), of Northend Bulawayo – who is represented by lawyer Matshobana Ncube – was not asked to plead to the charge when he appeared in court last Friday.
He was remanded to November 13 on $50 bail.
The PTUZ official was arrested in Bulawayo last Thursday after he allegedly stormed the Western Commonage CID section and requested to talk to Panganayi Zimunhu who was arrested on Wednesday over the missing “O” Level examination papers.
He was granted permission to see him after introducing himself as the PTUZ representative.
After Paradzayi had spoken to Zimunhu, he allegedly told the investigating officer that he intended to hire a lawyer for Zimunhu.
The investigating officer reportedly advised him to make arrangements so that they could meet at the Western Commonage Court within 30 minutes and Paradzayi is said to have agreed.
It is the State case that the investigating officer advised Zimunhu to complete signing his warned-and-cautioned statement since he had only signed one copy.
However, Paradzayi, who was already leaving, allegedly ordered Zimunhu to refuse signing the documents in the absence of a lawyer.
Despite warnings from police, Paradzayi reportedly continued with his disorderly conduct, leading to his arrest.
Zimunhu mysteriously lost 13 examination papers for six “O” Level subjects after he reportedly loaded them on a trailer of a Bubi-bound commuter omnibus.
The Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council has since withdrawn the affected papers and is already printing fresh question papers.