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Poll violence: Teachers always suffer the most

MY father, Rejoice Ngwenya says he is a liberal democrat. I know very little about political ideologies, but whatever liberal democrat means, I think it means well.

Otherwise why would he be so much concerned about political freedom in modern-day Zimbabwe? The few times that I read what he writes, he writes a lot, maybe too much, about Gukurahundi, elections, Zanu PF this, Robert Mugabe that.
It has become an obsession! Of late, he has been frothing at the pen[not mouth] about elections and how violent they will be. I can understand his anger.
Violence during the elections will brutally affect education because teachers always suffer the most. For some reason, Zanu PF thugs always accuse teachers of supporting MDC. If they do, what is wrong with supporting anyone in a liberal democracy? Most policemen and soldiers employed by the government support Zanu PF, but nobody beats them up.
Violence caused by political parties during elections is not good,because teachers will be afraid to come to work. It is bad enough now when they refuse to come to work because of complaining about money. The government pays soldiers and policemen so well that they support Mugabe, so why can’t the teachers be given money?
Right now we may end up with a constitution referendum and schools may be closed and time is wasted due to fear of Zanu PF thugs. In June 2008, Cambridge examinations candidates were affected because of fear. University students face a higher risk of being victims of the perpetrators because they are not only able to vote but also some cruel, unsatisfied  party members can blame them for not voting for that particular party or for not even voting at all. So much for democracy in Zimbabwe! It is so confusing!
Election violence will also affect parents. Imagine a parent of four getting killed. Who is going to be a parent to the children?
Who is going to pay for their school fees? Those children’s education could be negatively affected. The children would probably miss school or even get expelled all together because of bad behaviour of adults.
Why are we persecuting and murdering each other because of elections?
It seems that we Africans are cursed!
It is shameful how other Zimbabweans would kill fellow Zimbabweans. Consider the 1980s when, as my father writes on “a despicable unit of military misfits operating under the name Gukurahundi under the command of one-party government murdered more than 20 000 people in Matabeleland and Midlands”. Not far back, hundreds of Zimbabweans were persecuted and killed in June 2008 during the election when I was still at boarding school. I remember we had to return home prematurely, totally consumed with fear of the violence and death that had engulfed our country.
My father also tells me Mr Mugabe was sent to school and looked after by white catholic priests at Kutama Mission. Why then does he hate white men so much when they sent him to school?
And so as we hear that there will be a referendum this year and elections next year, we hope Zanu PF people will behave. Political violence destroys education, frustrates teachers and depresses parents. It must be stopped. We need democracy, perhaps liberal democracy that respects peaceful education.

Prince Ngwenya,
Harare.

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