A GROUP of suspected war veterans has turned a primary school in Bulawayoâ€™s Entumbane suburb into farming plots after the opening of schools was postponed to January 27.
The war veterans have transformed Zulukandaba Primary School into farming land.
Information to hand shows that the ex-combatants last month brought down the schoolâ€™s security fence and turned sports fields into agricultural land.
Residents in the suburb told the Zimbabwe Independent that the war veterans had planted maize, which is now at knee level thanks to the rains that have been pounding Bulawayo and surrounding areas.
In an interview, the councillor for the area, Prince Dube, said the schoolâ€™s authorities informed him that it had been turned into a farming area.
â€œI was informed by the school authorities that some people had turned the schoolâ€™s grounds into a farm where they have subdivided the playing and training grounds into small farming plots,â€ Dube said. â€œThese are known Zanu PF activists who are claiming to be war veterans and it boggles the mind why they can turn a school yard into farming land.â€
He said residents wanted the Bulawayo City Council to intervene and slash the maize.
Dube said: â€œThe issue was brought to my attention last week by angry residents and they have said that if the war veterans do not slash the maize seed by themselves, then we will have to call for council assistance in having it removed.â€
The war veterans also stand accused of looting school furniture and removing the security fence. The city council yesterday said it would look into the issue.
Schools were supposed to open this Tuesday, but were delayed by government citing the non-completion in the marking of Grade 7, â€˜Oâ€™ and â€˜Aâ€™ level examinations.
However, the Zimbabwe Teachers Association said government made the decision after teachers threatened to continue the strike they started last year unless they were paid in foreign currency.
Teachers are demanding a basic salary of US$2 200.
BY HENRY MHAKAÂ