By Staff Reporter
BUDIRIRO legislator Costa Machingauta on Wednesday took the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to task by demanding to know if it was a government policy for political parties to use school vehicles to ferry people to their rallies and meetings.
Machingauta’s question comes on the back of reports from civic society organisation that the ruling party Zanu PF is not only force marching people to its rallies but also forcing schools to donate their buses and vehicles as well.
School children, teachers and school buses are a common feature at Zanu PF rallies and in most cases classes are suspended and schools closed in provinces when there is ruling party rally as has been the case with the Marondera, Mutare and Masvingo “Presidential Youth Interface” Rallies.
Speaking in the National Assembly during a question and answer segment, Honourable Machingauta asked if schools were hiring out their buses or they were being forced and also whether there was a supporting government policy for that.
However, responding to the question, Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Paul Mavhima said no such policy exists in the country and that it was the schools who were choosing to release their buses.
“It’s not government who decides, the decision is made by schools whether they should hire their buses, others hires to churches for fundraising,” he said.
Honourable Machingauta’s supplementary question on whether it was true that Zanu PF had not paid a single for the school buses they have used so far, and that some of the vehicles were returned with used condoms inside while others damaged was however objected by the Acting Speaker of the National Assembly Reuben Marumahoko.
Responding to one of the tweets on the @OpenParlyZW twitter handle, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) Secretary General Raymond Majongwe, however, queried who was going to pay for the wear and tear of the buses after being used at political meetings.