ZIMBABWE – Irate Mutambara High School students in Chimanimani recently took matters into their own hands, destroying property worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in protests over alleged corruption and poor administration by school authorities.
The United Methodist Church-run boarding school, it is said, has been forced into abrupt closure as authorities agonise on how to handle the unrest.
Trouble started Sunday evening when the students staged demonstrations within the school yard accusing the authorities of corruption and serving substandard meals.
The restless scholars further demanded the immediate resignation of the school’s deputy head, one Chikwenjere who they accused of corruption.
“We have been sent home until the situation at the school is back to normal,” said a student who refused to be named for fear of victimisation.
“We are being fed on junk food such as chunks, yet our parents are forking out a lot of money in terms of school fees. We also want Chikwenjere to go because he is corrupt.”
The students are also accusing the school authorities of failing to account for school fees paid by form five students last term.
“Last term Form Five students only learnt for three weeks and yet they were made to pay fees for the whole term.
“What did they use that money for?” said another student, who also accused Chikwenjere of demanding $100 bribes from new Advanced level students who were seeking enrolment.
On Monday, officials from the Ministry of Education’s Chimanimani district offices addressed the agitated students and promised to attend to their concerns.
But the students embarked on more violent demonstrations soon after the official’s departure, leading to a crisis induced closure of the institution.
Reached for comment, the school’s headmaster, who only identified himself as Chawareerwa, confirmed the violent demonstrations but denied the school’s closure.
“Those students who left the school were fleeing the violence which rocked the school on Sunday. We have not closed the school,” said Chawareerwa before referring all questions to the provincial education director in Mutare.