Hundreds of girls at the Anglican Church-run Bonda Mission in Mutare on Monday protested over plummeting standards at the school that was seized by Anglican Bishop Nolbert Kunonga’s faction last year.
Sources said the girls walked kilometres to Nyamadzi River, before they were stopped by the school’s authorities, on their way to Mutasa district’s Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture offices.
The girls reportedly wanted to air their grievances that included alleged poor quality of food, sexual harassment and interference by Kunonga’s faction in the school’s affairs.
Kunonga forcibly took over the school from the main faction led by Bishop Chad Gandiya in the fight for the church’s assets.
Following Monday’s protests, some parents were reportedly taking their children away from the school, two weeks before the end of the school term.
Education, Sport, Arts and Culture deputy minister Lazarus Dokora on Tuesday said he was not aware of the strike.
“Provincial education directors are the right people to deal with the case since I am not aware of it but I will have to wait for them to inform me,” he said.
Manicaland provincial director Peter Muzawazi could not be reached for comment as he was said to be out of office.
However, other senior officials who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed the incident and said appropriate measures will be taken to bring back normalcy to the school.
“It’s true that the girls were on strike yesterday (Monday).
“We failed to establish the cause of the unrest by yesterday but they were walking the long distance to Mutasa district provincial offices.
“They were intercepted along the way at Nyamadzi River where they were brought back to the school on the St Mathias Tsonzo school bus,” said the source.
The bus reportedly made three trips to the school.
The school authorities, education officials and the board of governors were expected to hold a meeting yesterday to try and pacify the angry learners.
On Monday the girls reportedly refused to be addressed by the board of governors when they were taken back to the school.