PRIMARY school learners at Mwenje Primary School in Makoni District last week thwarted a demonstration against their headmistress when they chased away their placard waving parents and members of the community.
The demonstrators were led by the School Development Committee (SDC) chairman, Mr Tendai Nyasa, and they wanted the headmistress, Ms Zvichaguma Murahwa, to be transferred from the school.
However, the demonstrators failed to access the satellite school’s premises as the learners attacked them in defense of their school head.
In an interview, Ms Murahwa said some members of the community want her to be transferred from the school because as she has ‘overstayed’.
“Some members of the community are saying I have overstayed at the school and I should leave just like other teachers who have left. They are also claiming that I am behind the transfer of a teacher after some issues were raised against that teacher who opted to leave.
“The SDC chairperson led the demonstration, waving placards. However, I am safe because they (demonstrators) were chased away by the learners. Their issue is not emanating from the school, but from other disputes in the community,” said Ms Murahwa.
Mr Nyasa said the community is having boundary disputes with Ms Murahwa’s parents who own a farm next to the school, and added that there is no cordial working relationship between the head and his SDC.
“There is a high turn-over of teachers at the school because the head is frustrating teachers. There are some misunderstandings over how school projects should be handled. She constructed her personal house on a piece of land that we believe belongs to the school. The demarcations are not clear.
“We are in the dark on a number of issues happening at the school. Parents went to the school on Monday to demonstrate, but learners attacked and insulted some parents, questioning what they want to do with their headmistress. I think it is the head who incited them to revolt against us. She also has some parents who support her and they want the current SDC removed.
“There is a boundary dispute between the head’s parents and the community but we are not mixing issues,” said Mr Nyasa.
Makoni District Schools Inspector, Mr George Chidhakwa said an audit team was dispatched to the school and it came up with recommendations.
He added that normalcy is now prevailing at the school.
“We received a report to the effect that parents intended to demonstrate at Mwenje Primary School on Monday, but I am not sure if they managed to access the school premises. I sent a team there and it found the place peaceful.
“Parents want us to change the head. There were some issues between the head and the SDC and we sent auditors to verify. We expect them to implement the recommendations from the auditors,” said Mr Chidhakwa.
The Manica Post understands that the boundary dispute was resolved at both district and provincial levels, but the community is still adamant that the Murahwa family took a portion of the school land.