Machete Gangs Terrorize Teachers
17 June 2021

Machete gangs have since July 2018 been invading Mangwande Primary School in Lower Gweru prompting teachers to desert the institution as they feared for their lives.

The school is now left with five teachers out of a staff complement of 14.

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 searched 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 the last term. Moyo said:

It’s disheartening that our children are failing to learn due to shortages of teachers mainly caused by desertions because of machete gang terror.

From the 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. She said:

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.

Addressing a meeting organised by churches last year, Midlands Provincial Affairs minister Larry Mavima said there was a 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”.

Machete gangs have in the past three years been targeting and terrorising gold mining towns.- NewsDay