Retired educationist, Joshua Sithela Mpofu, has urged the ruling Zanu PF to stop commandeering school pupils and teachers to its rallies, describing the practice as disruptive and traumatising.
BY SILAS NKALA
Mpofu told Southern Eye yesterday that it was wrong for Zanu PF activists to order school buses to carry them to party meetings without the consent of the parents.
“In February this year, Matabeleland South had the honour to host the 93rd birthday of President Mugabe at the Rhodes Estate Preparatory School in Matobo,” he said.
“The occasion attracted a big crowd. What I found strange and objectionable was that there were school buses, some of them carrying pupils.”
Mpofu said last month Zanu PF again commandeered school buses and pupils to its youth interface rally in Gwanda, exposing them to abusive political sloganeering.
“For that gathering, school buses were used to ferry people to the meeting in the Gwanda district, teachers and pupils were seen in attendance,” he said.
“I would want to believe that what happened in Matabeleland South was a mirror of what happened in other regions.
“My contention is that it is wrong to use school buses and pupils in political gatherings.
“Perhaps the reason of the use of school buses and pupils to seem normal is that we have become a fear-ridden society.
“One wonders what method is being used to acquire the buses. Are they commandeered or asked for, if there is a difference?”
Former Education minister David Coltart has on several occasions raised concern over the abuse of school properties by the ruling party.