Headmaster politician ‘refuses’ to quit job

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Let us not make it a habit to amend the Constitution willy-nilly

By AMOS BATISAYI
A GOKWE headmaster based at Nyaradza Primary School, who is said to have a tendency of bullying teachers and villagers, is allegedly still working as a civil servant yet he is now a ward 19 Zanu PF councillor.

Enock Chevedza is supposed to have relinquished his position as school head in line with government policy which stipulates that civil servants who enter politics must resign. Chevedza, however, has continued working as a school head four years after he was elected councillor.

Section 200(4) of the Constitution prohibits civil servants from occupying political office.

A villager from ward 19 who refused to be named alleged that Chevedza was using his Zanu PF post to bully teachers.

“The Nyaradza Primary School headmaster was elected ward 19 councillor on a Zanu PF ticket. He is victimising teachers using his political position. Every teacher is now afraid of him, and some are resigning,” the villager said.

Other villagers said he should either resign from politics or the civil service.

Investigations by NewsDay revealed that Chevedza was failing to separate school business from politics and was threatening teachers who failed to show allegiance to the ruling Zanu PF party.

Chevedza also uses the school premises as a venue for Zanu PF events.

Timothy Sibanda, a teacher at the school who is also the Midlands chairperson for the Educators Union of Zimbabwe told NewsDay that Chevedza initiated the cessation of his salary.

“I have gone for more than a year without a salary. The councillor is unfairly treating teachers who are not aligned to him. I had my salary ceased last April after he used his political muscle to block due processes,” Sibanda said.

During the just ended March 26 by-elections, Chevedza campaigned for Gokwe Zanu PF candidates.

He is accused of threatening villagers telling them that they will not receive food aid and agricultural inputs if Zanu PF loses.

Efforts to get a comment from Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro were fruitless as his phone went unanswered.  Efforts to also get a comment from Chevedza were in vain.

Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said civil servants should be non-partisan.

“Civil servants are cleared by the Public Service Commission to contest elections and are expected to resign when they secure victory,” Masaraure said.

In Chikomba, two rural district council employees were in 2018 ejected from council after they won the elections, but did not resign from council.

“Partisan civil servants have a track record of abusing their authority and they have discriminatory tendencies.  Civil servants are allowed to enjoy the right to vote and be voted for, but must resign as soon as they secure partisan office,” Masaraure said.

Follow Amos on Twitter @ABatisayi