Zanu PF bars classroom block commissioning

HARARE - Zanu PF officials at Chegutu Rural District Council are allegedly blocking the commissioning of a classroom block built by an MDC legislator at Borden Primary School until Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai asks for permission from a local Zanu PF councillor.

The satellite school, situated on an A2 farm grabbed by a war veteran only identified as Muungwa, had until recently been using tobacco barns — left by the evicted commercial farmer of Borden Farm — as a classroom.

Chegutu West House of Assembly member, Takalani Matibe, built a classroom block using his allocation of Constituency Development Fund (CDF) at the school.

The block was scheduled to be officially commissioned and handed over to council by Tsvangirai early this month.

Matibe told the Daily News that the plans have been put on ice after the Chegutu Rural District Council officials indicated that they would not allow the premier to commission the block until he asks for permission from the local Zanu PF councillor.

Matibe said he would be consulting with his party this week on the way  forward as he cannot swallow having to beg a mere councillor to okay an event to be graced by a member of the executive.

“We have temporarily shelved our plans because there is a misunderstanding with council,” Matibe said.

“There are some Zanu PF zealots who haven’t as yet come to terms with the fact that MDC is now in government. I had written to council informing them that the Prime Minister would officiate at the commissioning ceremony then hand over the block to council since it is a council school.

“However, I got a phone call from a Zanu PF councillor Mpande advising us to seek clearance from the ward 28 councillor first which we refused to do. We cannot honestly be asked to seek permission from a councillor in my constituency for the Prime Minister to come. I will be consulting with the party this week on the way forward,” said Matibe, adding that the Zanu PF functionaries were also threatening people in the area against attending the ceremony.

“People were looking forward to the day but there are Zanu PF gangs going around intimidating them saying they would lose their farms if they attended. The atmosphere is actually tense in the area,” he added.
Contacted for comment, council chief executive Muguyo Zvobgo said he was not aware of the planned ceremony as he had not seen the correspondence.

Zvobgo however said he could not comment on what Mpande meant but he expected Matibe to hand over the block to council as the responsible authority.

“I don't even know there are such plans. I expect the MP to hand over the building to us because we are the responsible authority. How can we block such good development. I have not seen the letter maybe it's on its way. I cannot comment about what the councillor said,” Zvobgo said. - Mugove Tafirenyika

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