Parents up in arms over Zanu PF’s use of school bus  

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MASVINGO – Parents of Mapanzure Government High School students are outraged after the school bus was involved in an accident while transporting 65 Zanu PF Women’s League members to a cooking competition in Victoria Falls in May 2022.

The parents are refusing to pay sports fees and have banned their children from participating in any sporting activities until the bus, valued at US$150 000, is replaced.

The School Development Committee (SDC) Chairperson, Natiel Chimbuya, confirmed the standoff, saying parents are furious and demanding the bus’s return.

“We were at a meeting today (Thursday, May 9) but we failed to find a solution to the school bus challenge. Parents are angry and they have resolved that they won’t pay sports fees and learners will not go for sports anywhere until the bus is brought back,” said Chimbuya.

The school head is under fire from parents, who accuse him of allowing Zanu PF to use the bus, which was purchased with their own funds. Zanu PF provincial spokesperson, Pepukai Chiwewe, expressed sympathy but emphasized the importance of insurance, saying the party would investigate the matter.

“I am not sure of the position of that matter now but I will make enquiries to establish if it is the party that should repair or replace the bus because they had hired it. However, we do sympathize with the school and the parents and we would want to see the bus back at school for all to benefit.

“I would also want to urge all vehicle owners to make sure that their vehicles are insured because accidents happen regardless of who is using it,” said Chiwewe.

The accident occurred at the 35km peg along Masvingo-Mashava Road, and the women were later accommodated at Maponga Lodge. This incident highlights the controversial practice of hiring out school buses for political events, despite a High Court ruling barring such activities.

The District School Inspector and Provincial Education Director were unavailable for comment.

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