A teacher at Maumbe Primary School in Hurungwe, Blessing Mandava, has been suspended by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education allegedly for supporting the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).
Mandava (41) told New Zimbabwe that he believes Ministry of Education officials were ordered to suspend him by ZANU PF as he openly supported CCC and its leader Nelson Chamisa.
He said as a result of the harassment and victimisation he has been subjected to, he suffered a stroke and is now suffering from chronic hypertension. His salary has been frozen since last year.
Speaking to New Zimbabwe on Wednesday, Mandava, who is the CCC interim provincial information and publicity secretary in Hurungwe, said:
l reported for duty on Monday since my suspension had lapsed on Thursday, but surprisingly l was immediately hit with another suspension covering the same period as before but now starting today until June 5, 2022, on the same allegations.
The relentless persecution is evident l am being punished for being a former Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and now CCC member, and proponent for change in the rural community.
Despite producing medical certificates to prove l am suffering ill-health, the headmaster continues to play dumb and chooses to accuse me of deliberately absenting myself, hence the rolling suspensions.
I suffered a mild stroke in 2014 due to the victimisation l endured and now l suffer an acute condition of high blood pressure which is regularly forcing me to get doctor’s help and take medication. I have often been unwell hence cannot work.
He accused Maumbe Primary School headmaster, Gift Bandamakara, and his deputy Jadwell Mugabe of rejecting his plea, on ZANU PF instructions, to be allowed to transfer to a school closer to his homestead.
Mandava said he was transferred without being consulted from Kasimure Primary School, which is near his homestead, to Maumbe in 2013 by then Hurungwe district schools inspector Dzveta. He said:
My current school headmaster is in total disregard of my illness and has ordered me to leave ‘his school’.
I have applied to be transferred back to Kasimure which is closer to my home but l have been blocked on numerous occasions on pretext there were no vacancies.
As a local resident and homeowner at Kasimure, l have seen teachers come and go, but l am being blocked from working at the station and being with my family.