A FIVE-YEAR-OLD pre-schoolgoing boy was last week reportedly expelled from a creche at 1 Commando Barracks in Harare because of his father’s allegiance to the MDC-T party.
Enos Mucheriwa Choga’s father, Kubvoruno Choga, is the MDC-T secretary for Chirumanzu-Zibagwe district in Midlands South, but works in Harare.
In an interview with NewsDay, Choga Senior said before his son’sexpulsion, he had been summoned to the barracks and interrogated for about an hour by senior army officers seeking to establish his political background.
“I was phoned and requested to come to the school on Wednesday (last week) and I obliged. When I got there, one senior officer, who only identified himself as Marakasha, started interrogating me, asking me about my political background, my parents and virtually every detail about me,” he said.
Choga said he evaded issues relating to his political affiliation, but sensed that politics was the reason he was being questioned.
“After returning home, they phoned me again asking me to return, but I refused. I then told him (Marakasha) that I knew they were tormenting me for my political affiliation and I admitted to him that indeed, like they suspected, I was an MDC-T official,” Choga said last Friday.
“I then received a phone call from one official at the creche advising me that my son had been expelled and the fees I had paid would be refunded to me. She said she could not give me reasons for the expulsion, but had only been instructed by ‘chefs’ that my son had to leave. It is clear my son has been expelled because I belong to the MDC-T,” a dejected Choga said, adding that his cousin who had gone to drop Enos in the morning on Friday had been refunded the $50 he had paid as fees.
Contacted for comment, Marakasha admitted that he had summoned Choga and “talked” to him, but refused to give details.
“I just spoke to the father, but I cannot give you details. I am also not aware of the expulsion of the boy. Let me try and get more information and come back to you,” he said.
Zimbabwe National Army spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Alphios Makotore also said Enos had not been expelled.
“It’s a lie, the child is at school. These are lies being peddled by some mischievous elements,” he said.
However, yesterday Choga maintained that his son had been expelled and was at home. He said he was looking for an alternative pre-school for him.
“As we speak, I am hunting for a place for him. He is at home and no communication has been made to me for him to return (to the army pre-school),” he said.
The development appears to vindicate concerns about Zanu PF’s insistence on ruling out security sector reforms as demanded by the MDCs.
By law, children of civilians regardless of political affiliation should be free to attend any government school whether or not it is situated at army property or is run by military or police.