Education International
Education International

Zimbabwe: EI mourns death of tortured PTUZ founder

published 31 May 2007 updated 31 May 2007

EI joins the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) in mourning the death of founder member and national treasurer MacDonald Mangauzani on 27 May. Reports suggest that he succumbed to internal injuries sustained from brutal torture while in police custody last February.

Mangauzani, who was suffering from high blood pressure, was arrested in February during a national strike of teachers. While in police custody, Mangauzani was severely tortured by state agents who accused him and other union leaders of inciting teachers to go on strike over low salaries.

The PTUZ official was also denied access to medical treatment by police, even when it was proved to the law enforcement agents that Mangauzani was on special medical treatment for hypertension.

After his custody, Mangauzani’s condition continued to deteriorate until his death. Doctors confirmed that Mangauzani’s condition had been compounded by severe torture and the delay in accessing medical treatment.

EI wrote to Robert G. Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, in October 2006 following the arrest of Mangauzani and six fellow PTUZ board members on World Teachers' Day. The police had cordoned the streets leading to the trade union premises the night before in order to prevent any teachers' celebration.

While extending condolences to the colleagues and family of MacDonald Mangauzani, EI deplores the treatment he received in police custody.