Ndebele teachers furore

“Please, I am now tired of contesting and also being in active politics . . . let others take part,” Politburo member Sikhanyiso Ndlovu

ZANU PF has moved to address the emotive issue of deployment of non-Ndebele speaking teachers in the Matabeleland region to teach early grades, the party’s national secretary for education Sikhanyiso Ndlovu said yesterday.


Ndlovu told Southern Eye he had written to all party provincial chairpersons, provincial and district education secretaries beginning in Matabeleland alerting them of his visit.

He said a thorough research was needed and talking through the media relegated the issue to a mere “talk show”.

The development comes days after Zanu PF national chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo told a inter-provincial workshop attended by different ministers at Elangeni Training Centre in Bulawayo that he would seek audience with Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora over the emotive issue.

“I have written to all party provincial chairpersons and secretaries advising them of the planned visit to assess the deployment of teachers,” Ndlovu said.

“I know the issue of deploying non-Ndebele speaking teachers is a hot topic in the region and my party chairperson at the weekend said he would summon Dokora who is my deputy in the politburo.

“I need a comprehensive report on what is happening and such details are crucial for my central committee report for congress.

“They should tell me what they are doing about it. The danger of just talking through the media, but not addressing the root causes would render the issue a talk show. It has to be solved.”

Ndlovu said in the early 1980s, the same issue ruffled feathers and President Robert Mugabe had to “intervene”.

“Mugabe said that was wrong and had to stop. At that time, teachers were recruited from Harare and just sent out to schools without the knowledge of both the provincial and district education officer and even staffing officers,” he said.

Parents and educationists in Matabeleland have long blamed the low pass rate in the region on the deployment of non-Ndebele speaking teachers in both primary and secondary schools.

Pressure groups such as the Mthwakazi Youth Joint Leaders’ Resolution have even protested the “unfair” deployments.

The pressure group demonstrated at Makuzeze Primary School in Mangwe, Matabeleland South, demanding the transfer of the school head from Mashonaland after only one pupil passed the 2012 Grade 7 examinations.

Education officials and academics in Bulawayo last week blasted the Civil Service Commission for deploying non-Ndebele speakers to schools in the region and said this contributed to the low pass rate.

Primary and Secondary Education deputy minister Paul Mavhima said the government was revisiting the policy of deploying teachers to ensure children were taught by people who understood their mother tongue.

There was a huge uproar in the southern region of the country following revelations that the 2013 Grade 7 Ndebele Paper 1 examination contained slang and other vulgar words, among other vocabulary, not commonly used in everyday conversation.


  1. This is confusion now. The Minister was told. Why does the party get itself involved again? Research what research?
    Its just confusion after confusion.

  2. Bantu bakithi abantwana kumele bafundiswe ngolimi lwangekhaya ePrimary School.Abantu bakwezinye izigaba siyabamukela kodwa kabafundise eSecondary.Angiboni eminye imhlobo kulelilizwe ivuma ukuthi iNdebele lifundise ePrimary eMashonaland lapho kunga vuka abafayo.

  3. I dont think sikhanyiso and khaya real know what zanu and mugabe are, even when they are party members. do these guys really know that when mugabe is with his real people he talks about these “mandevere” if mugabe had his own way these mandebele would be sent back to their country sa like he wants all whites out. to him this is chaminuka land and no ndebele should claim anything. to him the whites and the ndebele are the same. ngabantu bokhuza and colonised his country as well. if in doubt ask those people who went through gukurahunde. why is it that right now farms being taken are being given to people from outside byo. why are loans to invest in byo told to people outside byo before it isknown to people in byo. are they not aware that there is a plan to flood byo with people form outside byo and mat before the elections. the shona people will take back their land soon and thatis what mugabe is after and he would have achieved what his great- grandparents would want him do before he dies.

  4. This exercise should be undertaken by The Ministry of Education,the party must not interfere in this issue.

  5. This issue should not only deal with the teacher case but should also look the police and the civil servants. It looks like there is a deliberate agenda to post in Matabeleland police and civil servants who don’t speak Ndebele to frustrate Ndebele speaking people at all angles and force them to speak Shona.

    The police in particular are very daring and even threaten to arrest you for obstructing the police work. Right in the heart of Matabeleland, like Khezi and Tsholotsho, you will find a policeman who will say he/she doesn’t speak or understand Ndebele, and yet all Ndebele policeman posted in Shona arrears speak Shona very fluently. If this is not a deliberate agenda I don’t know what is????

    If you look at general employment, I will pick one company, African Sun. Out of its total of 9 hotels in the country, 6 of them are in Matabeleland, yet their staff compliment has less than 10% Ndebeles. If you go to Vic Falls, even porters and housekeepers are from Mashonaland. Do you mean to say that local people cannot even carry luggage and clean rooms????

    Someone should deal with this issue of tribal marginalisation sooner rather than later. The people are not fools, and they are watching!!!!!

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