Learning was temporarily suspended at Mutendebvure Primary School in Makoni last week on Tuesday after a Grade Six teacher was allegedly attacked by some invisible forces believed to be “witchcraft birds” as she conducted lessons.
Makoni Rural District Council’s Ward 39 representative, Councillor Maxwell Chundimu Bhunu, told The Manica Post that the teacher felt dizzy after she was allegedly slapped on the left ear by invisible forces.
The teacher collapsed in a heap in front of her pupils, prompting learners to cry out for help.
The school has only 13 teachers and some of them have requested to be transferred, saying their lives are in danger.
Reports indicate that all is not well between some teachers and some parents and community members.
The tension prompted Headman Ticharwa Nedewedzo to convene a meeting at the school last week on Friday.
The meeting reportedly resolved that four parents (names withheld) be brought before Headman Nedewedzo’s court yesterday (Friday) on allegations of causing the mysterious occurrences at the school.
The four parents had exchanged harsh words and text messages with three teachers, including the victim.
The school head, Abraham Mugodzeri, assigned the said teacher to teach Grade Sixes against the wishes of parents who wanted her to remain a Grade Two teacher due to alleged incompetence.
Mugodzeri then convened a meeting with parents of Grade Six and Seven learners to announce and explain his decision. Said Councillor Bhunu:
A few days later, the teacher was allegedly slapped on her face as she was teaching a Grade Six class. She started feeling dizzy and collapsed in front of the class.
Her learners cried out for help, and she was carried to her house by other teachers who administered first aid to resuscitate her.
She was then rushed to Dewedzo Rural Hospital where she was treated and discharged. However, her condition deteriorated in the evening as she is now having hallucinations.
She is struggling to walk as her left leg has developed numbness and is itchy.
She could hardly walk and was in pain. We are trying our best as the local leadership to find an amicable and lasting solution to this problem. The matter has since been referred to Headman Nedewedzo’s court.
Makoni District Education Inspector, George Chidhakwa, told The Manica Post that he was unaware of the developments at the school.
However, the publication has established that Chidhakwa had spent two hours counselling and persuading the teachers to return to their workstation as authorities try to find a permanent solution.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (ZINATHA) president, George Kandiero, said witchcraft birds are real. Said Kandiero:
The victim [of a witchcraft bird strike] can suffer from a mental disorder or develop some confusion after being beaten by the witchcraft birds.
These things are real. The stranger than fiction occurrence is proof that science indeed has a definite limit.
A person attacked by these castings either starts having hallucinations or develops partial stroke on the affected side, but we have some exorcists who can reverse these things and heal the victims. This will depend on who the victim approaches.