ZANU PF has reportedly resorted to coercing civil servants, particularly teachers, to contribute at least $1 each towards its
$8 million extraordinary congress slated for December.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
NewsDay has gathered that in provinces such as Mashonaland East and Mashonaland Central, teachers had been ordered to “donate” $1 each, while headmasters are required to fork out $2 each towards the congress.
But Zanu PF warned people to be wary of individuals soliciting money on its behalf, as some of them were bogus.
The Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) claimed that its members had been given up to next week to make the payments.
“The greedy and parasitic grouping called by the acronym Zanu PF has once again descended on rural teachers, especially in Mudzi district, demanding cash contributions from teachers,” the union said in a statement yesterday.
“ARTUZ urges district school inspectors and school heads to uphold professional ethics and resist manipulation by the ruling party.
“Teachers are saddled with a tall order of implementing a shambolic and cumbersome new curriculum coupled with a monetary crisis that has eroded their salaries by up to 75%.
“We would expect all rational citizens to commiserate with the teachers, but rationale is now alien to Zanu PF.”
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general, Raymond Majongwe confirmed receiving complaints from their members over the issue, describing forced donations as “extortion and diabolic”.
“I have heard about this and there is nothing much we can do save to say the world must know that Zanu PF is forcing teachers to pay for their internal matters,” he said.
“Teachers have suffered every time from the President’s birthday, youth interface rallies and now this. This must stop.”
MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu said the opposition party had also received similar complaints from other civil servants.
“We have received complaints from teachers and other civil servants, who are bitterly complaining that Zanu PF officials are forcing them to ‘donate’ money to fund their extraordinary congress in December,” he said.
“We strenuously condemn such fascist tendencies.
“We call upon Zimbabweans to resolutely stand their ground and refuse to be intimidated by these Zanu PF hoodlums.
“Zimbabweans have got to learn to stand up to the excesses of the Zanu PF dictatorship. None but ourselves shall set us free.”
People’s Democratic Party spokesperson Jacob Mafume weighed in, saying: “It’s evil for a whole party that is failing to allow people to get anything from the bank to then take the little money they get for a white elephant congress, a congress which simply wants to repeat that it supports Mugabe and his wife, a congress that does not worry about the economy, but worries about the future of a 93-year-old President.”
In Mudzi district, teachers who spoke to NewsDay yesterday said they were told to pay the money by next Monday.
“At the assembly point today (Wednesday), we were told to pay up by Monday. This is an agreement we reached because most of us will be able to access cash at the weekend,” one teacher said.
“A list will be compiled of those contributing.”
Mudzi district schools inspector, Cree Chofamba declined to comment on the issue.
Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson, Patrick Zumbo also declined to comment.
“I don’t know about that,” he said before terminating the call.
Zanu PF spokesperson Simon, Khaya Moyo said he would only comment after receiving copies of letters sent to solicit for donations from the civil servants.
“Where did that communication come from? I want to see the copy and we will deal with those people,” he said.
Moyo later issued a statement warning civil servants and Zanu PF’s benefactors to be wary of “fraudsters” going around milking people in the name of the ruling party.
“Members of the public and, in particular, the corporate sector, are advised to be wary of individuals, who solicit for
sponsorships using appeal letters bearing the Zanu PF letterhead with bogus signatures and directing payments to individuals’ bank accounts,” he said.
“All bona fide Zanu PF appeal letters are signed by the secretary for finance, Obert Mpofu.
“Furthermore, all funding towards Zanu PF projects are to be channelled towards Zanu PF bank accounts.”