Zimbabwe: Teacher collapses, dies during lesson

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A Grade Three teacher at Mtshede Primary School in Bulawayo collapsed and died during a Physical Education (PE) lesson at the school grounds yesterday, police have confirmed. 

Freddy Murimirajaoba (53), originally from Mount Darwin, Mashonaland Central province and had been teaching at the school for more than 10 years started complaining of a headache and dizziness at around 9AM and was rushed to the headmistress’ office.

“He had not been reporting for duty for almost two weeks. The headmistress got worried and telephoned him to report for duty and he came on that day. While he was doing PE at the school grounds with his pupils he complained of a throbbing headache. Moments later he fell down,” said a teacher who asked not to be named as he was not cleared to talk to the media. 

The teacher said they were informed by a pupil that Mr Murimirajaoba had collapsed.

“We had to rush to the school grounds and we took him to the headmistress’ office where we administered first aid as he was no longer talking. One of the teachers called an ambulance and it took about three hours to come. His body was collected from the school at around 12pm,” said the source.

The Bulawayo City Council recently announced it would be prioritising emergency cases as fuel shortages were making it impossible to provide full ambulance services for the city.

Chronicle visited Mr Murimirajaoba’s family in Gwabalanda suburb and spoke to his younger brother Nigel Murimirajaoba who said the family is deeply saddened.

“We are shocked and we didn’t expect this. He just complained of a throbbing headache for three days then we were shocked to receive sad news that he had passed away,” he said. 

He said his brother’s body was taken to the United Bulawayo Hospitals for post-mortem.

“My brother is survived by a wife and a child. At the moment I can’t say when he will be laid to rest because we are still waiting for our relatives who are based outside the country to arrive, then we will make a final decision,” he said. 

Bulawayo Police Spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said: “We are investigating a case of sudden death which occurred at Mtshede Primary School where a 53-year-old man collapsed. An ambulance was called and he was pronounced dead at the school premises. His body was taken to United Bulawayo Hospitals for a post-mortem. He had not been reporting for duty for some time due to poor health.”

Provincial Education Director for Bulawayo province Mrs Olicah Kaira said:

“I can confirm that a senior teacher who was stationed at Mtshede Primary School collapsed and died at the school. I can’t specifically say how many years he had served because due to my busy schedule I had not checked his file but what I know is that he was a senior teacher who had served for more than 10 years. As the teaching fraternity we would like to convey our deepest condolences to the family.” – Chronicle