LEARNING grinded to a halt at Mutendebvure Primary School in Makoni last week on Tuesday after a Grade Six teacher was allegedly attacked by some invisible forces as she conducted lessons.
The incident resulted in the school being temporarily closed to allow the authorities and local traditional leaders to find a lasting solution to the problem.
The school has 13 teachers, some of whom have requested to be transferred, saying their life is in danger given the mysterious occurrences and hostility directed at them by parents and other members of the community.
It is understood that parents and teachers at the school have a cat and mouse relationship as counter accusations are the order of the day.
A meeting, chaired by Headman Ticharwa Nedewedzo, was convened at the troubled school last week on Friday.
It was resolved that four parents (names withheld) be dragged before Headman Nedewedzo’s court today (Friday) after they were accused of causing some of the mysterious occurrences at the school.
The four allegedly exchanged toxic words and text messages with three teachers, including the victim.
Makoni Rural District Council’s Ward 39 representative, Councillor Maxwell Chundimu Bhunu who attended the meeting, said the situation at the school is untenable as teachers are demanding to be transferred from the school.
Councillor Bhunu said the teacher who fell victim felt dizzy and knee-weakened after being slapped on the left ear by invisible forces.
The teacher collapsed in front of the class, prompting learners to cry out for help.
The Weekender understands that before this incident, the school head, Mr Abraham Mugodzeri, had convened a meeting with parents of Grade Six and Seven learners to announce and explain his decision to assign the said teacher to teach Grade Sixes against the wishes of parents who wanted her to remain a Grade Two teacher.
Although some parents were against the idea, alleging incompetence, it is said school authorities stuck to their guns.
“A few days later, the teacher was allegedly slapped on her face as she was teaching a Grade Six class. She started feeling dizzy and collapsed in front of the class. Her learners cried out for help, and she was carried to her house by other teachers who administered first aid to resuscitate her.
“She was then rushed to Dewedzo Rural Hospital where she was treated and discharged. However her condition deteriorated in the evening as she is now having hallucinations. She is struggling to walk as her left leg has developed numbness and is itchy,” said Councillor Bhunu.
“She could hardly walk and was in pain. We are trying our best as the local leadership to find an amicable and lasting solution to this problem. The matter has since been referred to Headman Nedewedzo’s court,” he said.
Mr Mugodzeri was not readily available for a comment as his mobile number was unreachable.
Makoni District Education Inspector, Mr George Chidhakwa was not forthcoming with information when contacted for comment.
He said he was unaware of the developments at the school despite having spent two hours counselling and persuading the traumatised teachers to return to their workstation as a permanent solution is worked out.
“I am in Masvingo for the census training, and will be back after two weeks. I have not received that information,” he said.
Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (Zinatha) president, Mr George Kandiero said witchcraft birds are mystical creatures used to harm people that are viewed as enemies.
He said the practice is masterminded by evil minded people who resort to harming others with magic.
“The victim can suffer from mental disorder or develop some confusion after being beaten by the witchcraft birds. These things are real. The stranger than fiction occurrence is proof that science indeed has a definite limit.
“A person attacked by these castings either starts having hallucinations or develops partial stroke on the affected side, but we have some exorcists who can reverse these things and heal the victims. This will depend on who the victim approaches,” said Mr Kandiero.