By A Correspondent- Teachers at Mangwande Primary School in Lower Gweru have reportedly deserted the learning institution for security reasons after machete gangs terrorised the area since July 2018.
As a result, the school is now left with five teachers out of a staff complement of 14.
NewsDay gathered that the teachers fled after a female colleague was assaulted and gang-raped by five machete wielding youths as her three minor children watched. The machete gang then force-marched the head to the school cash vault which they failed to break.
They then ransacked other teachers’ houses and stole various items.
Two members of the gang were later arrested and jailed for 37 years each.
A parent with a child at Mangwande School, Thomson Moyo said children in Grade Four and Grade Six had not been attending classes for the whole of last term.
“It’s disheartening that our children are failing to learn due to shortages of teachers mainly caused by desertions because of machete gang terror,” Moyo said.
“From information we have gathered, the teachers were saying they fear for their lives.”
Another parent, Esnath Mlalazi said following the robbery at the school three years ago, teachers deserted their staff cottages before they left the school in successive years.
“They started by deserting the school staff houses, saying they feared for their lives before they went on to transfer from the school in successive years,” she said.
Midlands provincial education director Robson Machimbira was non-committal when NewsDay contacted him for comment. He only said the robberies were reported.
“That case was reported to the police,”Machimbira said.
However, last year while addressing a meeting organised by churches, Midlands Provincial Affairs minister Larry Mavima said there was need to decisively deal with the machete gangs.
He called on stakeholders to join hands with police and put an end to machete gangs, whom he said had become “warlords” with “potential to start civil wars”.