By Darlington Gatsi
EDUCATORS have accused a Zanu PF shadowy group Teachers for Economic Development (ED) for demanding money from teachers and schools to fund its workshops, believed to be campaigns for the ruling party.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) said the grouping is forcing teachers and schools to cough up US$10 AND US$500.
The Union said this is short changing schools which are forced to eke out from levies paid by students’ parents.
“This money is from school fees and levies paid by ordinary struggling and overburdened parents in a context where the government has failed to fund education.
“Teachers4ED is neither a government institution nor a legitimate arm of the ruling ZANU PF party, but just a shadowy and dodgy private enterprise claiming to be bidding for President Emmerson Mnangagwa as an individual,” said ARTUZ spokesperson Thembakuye Mabhikwa.
Teachers4ED is one of many parallel structures established last year ostensibly to support President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s candidacy for this year’s elections.
Last year the group faced similar accusations following reports that teachers were being forced to attend its events and launch held in Harare.
“The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, ARTUZ condemns the siphoning of education resources by #Teachers4ED at the bidding of the “Company” boss. The Union calls for the return to normal nation state order, where State institutions are run in line with the constitution and for the benefit of the people.
“The funding of education is a prerogative of the State as stated in section 75 of the constitution. Parents are only assisting because the State has failed. It’s scandalous for the “Company” which is collapsing the State to appropriate resources from parents towards funding ” Company ” political enterprises.
“School Heads should also act responsibly since they are employed by the government not Mnangagwa’s “Company.” One day they will be sued in their individual capacities for abusing funds meant for the education of our people,” added Mabhikwa.
Solicited for comment, Ministry of Primary and Secondary education director of communication and advocacy Taungana Ndoro curtly said: “We have no such reports.”