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miercuri, 30 octombrie 2013

Zimbabwe: Four Matobo Schools Hit By Goblin Menace

FOUR schools in Matobo District, Matabeleland South, have been forced to stop lessons due to a rather arcane infestation: goblins.

Local officials insist that pupils at Lushumbe Primary, Mazhayimbe Primary, Bhazha Secondary and Tokwe Secondary schools have been terrorised by goblins.

Many parents have stopped sending their children to school.

Said local traditional leader, Chief Malachi Masuku: "I am appealing to the government because the situation keeps on worsening. Lessons are being disrupted at four schools within my area as it has become impossible for pupils to learn as they are being terrorised by goblins.

"I visited one of the affected schools, Tokwe Secondary last week and the headmaster told me there is a lot of panic within the school. Children are constantly being attacked by goblins during lessons and some faint.

"Tokwe Secondary has 10 classes but only one class is affected. This has caused a huge scare throughout the school and now parents are reluctant to send their children to the school.

"The headmaster said they engaged parents of the affected children who said their children only developed the problem once they got to school. This problem started in August and of late it has worsened."

In an interview with the local Chronicle newspaper, Chief Masuku, blamed the trouble on witchcraft.

"This is a sign that people are still practising witchcraft. We are hoping that the Government will engage the Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (Zinatha) to drive away these evils spirits which are tormenting our children," he said.

A headmaster at one of the affected schools said they had reported the problem to the education minister and were advised to consult traditional leaders.

"The whole school is being affected. We cannot continue operating under such an environment. When the attacks start, pupils run amok, they start screaming and panicking and eventually the whole school runs amok," he said.

"When this problem started, we were experiencing it occasionally but of late it is happening on a daily basis. We consulted the traditional leadership as we were advised and we hope this problem we are facing will be addressed soon."

Beliefs in goblins and witchcraft persist in many parts of rural Zimbabwe, though practising witchcraft is an offence.

Goblin sightings are often reported in the media although photographs are - perhaps not surprisingly - rare.

Last month a Harare businessman made the headlines after appealing to Vice President Joyce Mujuru to help him remove goblins from his Shamva gold mine.

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