——Teachers at Siameja Primary School in Sinazongwe district have boycotted work and sent their pupils away in protest against the practice of witchcraft that has been haunting them.
This came to light when concerned members of Siameja community reported the matter to the District Commissioner, Dodo Sinadaza.
A check by the District Commissioner and District Education Board Secretary, Aiden Kambinga at the learning instittion confirmed that teachers were not teaching and pupils had been sent back to their respective homes due to the reported practice of witchcraft experienced at the school.
The teachers confirmed to the District Commissioner and the District Education Board Secretary that the situation had become worse as they were attacked and experienced happenings that were mysterious in nature.
Speaking on behalf of teachers during a briefing to the District Commissioner and his delegation, senior teacher, Raizy Munzele, said female teachers and their babies were the main victims although men were also attacked in some instances.
Mr Munzele narrated that female teachers were made to have sex with unknown persons that they could not even see and identify while asleep and could find their private parts messed up.
He said this was happening to both married and single female teachers including female pupils that were in boarding at the school.
Mr Munzele said that in some instances married female teachers could find their husbands sleeping on the floor after experiencing an act of sex in a mystery.
He said there were also experiences of finding themselves naked even when they went to bed in their pyjamas while male teachers experienced backaches frequently.
Mr Munzele further narrated that some teachers with their families could see dwarfs in their homes that could disappear mysteriously and their babies could cry uncontrollably with fear throughout the night.
He said a number of strange things were experienced and it had become rampant which compelled them to boycott teaching and send the pupils back to their homes since Monday this week.
Mr Munzele said teachers resolved to request for transfers from Siameja Primary School due to the same practice of witchcraft by unknown persons which had made their living miserable for a long time.
Meanwhile, District Commissioner Dodo Sindaza, has expressed worry and displeasure over the development at Siameja Primary School.
Addressing teachers and members of the community at the school grounds over the matter, Mr Sindaza said he was saddened with the disturbance of the learning process for the pupils who were future leaders of the country.
He said such a development was frustrating government’s efforts of providing quality education to the children in Siameja area.
Mr Sindaza said government will not condon disruption of lessons at the school by such practices as witchcraft which interfered with the peaceful living of teachers.
He gave teachers, community members and the local leadership including traditional, civic and religious leaders a two weeks ultimatum to find a lasting solution to the problem faced at Siameja Primary School failure to which the school could be closed indefinitely.
Mr Sindaza requested them to bear in mind that once the school is closed, teachers would be withdrawn from there and children would suffer as they will not be able to learn.
And District Education Board Secretary Aiden Kambinga directed the teachers to resume work as their move to boycott teaching and sending the pupils away from School was illegal and chargeable.
Mr Kambinga said the problem of witchcraft which had ravaged the school needed not to disturb the running of the school and advised the administration to be communicating effectively through the right channels whenever a challenge that called for the intervention of his office could arise.
However, Parent Teachers Association (PTA) chairman, Huxley Sipanela, said the association members were equally disappointed with the disturbance at the school because it had disadvantaged their children.
Mr Sipanela said the PTA had a meeting with traditional leaders in the area in an effort to address the matter and resolved that they engage a witch finder to help getting rid of persons that were behind witchcraft that had ravaged the teacher’s compound at Siameja Primary School.
It was at this moment when drama ensued after an announcement that the witchfinder was in the midst of the community members that had been addressed by the District Commissioner and his entourage.
The named witch finder drew a circle and requested that teachers start entering the circle one by one so that he could start his witch finding but all the teachers denied.
The witch finder indicated that he wanted to start with the teachers themselves before turning to other members of the community but the District Commissioner intervened and warned that teachers were government officers who did not require to be subjected to such practices.
The DC told the community and the PTA that they would be held responsible for anything that would happen to any member of staff because of the method they had chosen to address the problem.
He said that such practices were not even allowed to take place in government premises and institutions such as schools and as such Siameja Primary School was not exceptional.
The witch finder earlier on charged the PTA and community members K500.00 for his services but reacted when he was stopped from going ahead with his job by demanding his payment from the PTA for bringing him all the way from Kalomo District within Southern Province.