TWO schools have temporarily closed and nurses are threatening to abandon a clinic over claims GOBLINS are terrorising staff.
Seven teachers fled Tshebetshebe Primary School in Lupane, Matabeleland North, after the gremlins allegedly helped themselves to teachers’ groceries and romped with female teachers who woke up to find themselves naked and their underwear hanging from the windows.
At Furumere Primary School in Mwenezi, Masvingo Province, teachers fled after local villagers stormed the school with two self-styled prophets to conduct a cleansing ceremony over claims a teacher was keeping goblins which had caused nine pupils to fall ill.
Meanwhile, at Nathisa Clinic in Matobo, Matabeleland South, the local chief has launched a desperate plea for help after nurses threatened to quit the local clinic, complaining of “sexual molestation” by the mystical creatures.
Matabeleland North provincial education director Boithatelo Mnguni, confirming the closure of the Lupane school, insisted that the local community should get rid of the goblins before the teachers can return to the school which enrols 240 pupils.
"This is an issue that the community should handle because we cannot deal with it as a ministry. Teachers have the right to stay in a safe place, and the community should address the problem first,” she told the Chronicle newspaper.
A local villager told how life had become a living hell for teachers. The final straw, he said, came when the goblins threatened to BEAT UP staff.
"There is chaos there. Goblins have been terrorising the teachers in the past weeks. The teachers could not bear it any longer and last week the whole staff left the school," the Chronicle quoted the unnamed villager as saying.
He added: "Female teachers were the most affected as they were sexually abused by the goblins. We have heard stories that the teachers would wake up in the morning only to discover that they were naked and their under garments would be hanging on the windows.
"The male teachers were also affected as the goblins would take their food including mealie-meal and meat. As it is, there is no one at the school.
"Last week the situation was worse because the goblins were threatening to beat up the teachers.”
In Mwenezi, villagers besieged a local school following allegations that one of the teachers kept a goblin.
Irate parents stormed Furumere Primary School in search of the said goblin which is accused of causing mysterious illnesses to some of the pupils.
Local headman William Tsumele Chavani ordered a cleansing ceremony after nine pupils – including six girls aged between 6- 12 – suddenly fell ill at the same time while at school. All of them complained of stomach pains, headaches and dizziness. They collapsed one after the other.
A teacher who fled the school said: “The parents came and ferried the children in scotch-carts but upon arrival at their homes, each one of the pupils woke up screaming. All nine recovered instantly and seemed not to remember what had happened.”
More pupils fell sick the same way a couple of days later and just like the first nine, they recovered instantly upon waking up.
Following a request by the headman, two faith healers were hired to sift out the culprit behind the strange events.
The two self-styled “prophets” – named locally as Thomas Mpofu and Hanyani Hanyani – went to the school with more than 60 villagers demanding that the “witch” be pointed out and forced to cast away the goblin.
But teachers fled the arrival of the villagers in what one said were tense scenes.
Said one teacher: "What followed was a nightmare. The villagers said one of us had a goblin which was causing all this. The headmaster, on noticing that tempers were high, advised all teachers to go away and not come for the ceremony.
"We all fled to Neshuro Growth Point because we were not sure what the prophets would do or say.”
The teacher, who has now returned to his home in Mabvuku, Harare, said the villagers had returned a day later with the “prophets” and on finding that the school was deserted; they broke into one of the teachers’ house.
When the headmaster, a Chijese, returned to the school a day later and saw the vandalised property, he called the police.
Said the teacher: “When the police responded, right in the middle of the room was a blanket and upon unwrapping it they found a cat. The owner of the house confessed ignorance of the said cat and accused the mob of planting it in his house as proof that he was a wizard.”
Teachers are refusing to return until the witch-hunt is called off.
Meanwhile, the NewsDay newspaper reports that nurses at Nathisa Clinic in Matobo have threatened to relocate after harassment by goblins.
Chief Malaki Masuku said: “Nathisa Clinic authorities have approached and told me that female nurses are complaining over goblins that are sexually molesting them at night.
“The female staff at the clinic claim they have sleepless nights and they are threatening to leave the clinic if nothing is done soon.
“After the clinic authorities approached me, I approached the Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers’ Association (Zinatha) who said they would bring their members from Harare to deal with the crisis.
“The clinic is ours and that is where our lives depend. If we allow nurses to abandon it, who will help us when we fall sick? We are supposed to contribute some money for the cleansing of the clinic.
“If the problem is not solved, the nurses will go because no-one would dare stay where creatures suck her breasts and sexually abuse her.”