TEACHERS at Mangwande Primary School in Lower Gweru have deserted the school’s staff houses following a robbery attack that occurred in July where a female employee was raped and assaulted in front of her children.
BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
When The Southern Eye crew visited the school on Sunday, the school’s cottage was empty after teachers reportedly left the residence, fearing for their safety when the third term opened last Tuesday.
“After the incident, no teacher is willing to stay at the school staff houses,” said one teacher who requested anonymity.
“Most of the teachers commute from Gweru, while others who live in Lower Gweru travel to the school from their homes. We cannot compromise on our safety.’
According to information gathered by this paper, sometime at the end of July most of the teachers travelled to Gweru to collect their salaries, leaving behind a female teacher and the school head.
At mid-night, five suspected robbers stormed into the lady teacher’s house, tied her with a scarf and two of them allegedly took turns to rape her before assaulting her while her children aged three, nine and 11 years watched helplessly.
The robbers then stormed into the head’s house before force-marching him to the safe where the school’s money is kept, but failed to open it.
They then ransacked the other teachers’ houses and stole food, clothes, among other items, before breaking into a local businessperson’s shop and getting away with various items.
Midlands provincial education director Agnes Gudo yesterday said the female teacher who was sexually abused has since been transferred to another school.
“This is a sensitive issue and I cannot say much, serve to say that we have done everything humane to assist the teacher and besides getting psychological help, she has since been transferred,” she said.
“We have also helped her children through our psychologists and continue to monitor them. We hope the law takes its course because to date, we haven’t heard of any arrest of the perpetrators. It is an unfortunate incident, but we have to face it and deal with it.”
Provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende was yesterday said to be out of office. She had also not responded to questions sent to her.
But a police source confirmed the robbery and rape reports reaching Gweru Central Police Station although he indicated that no suspects had been arrested.