Coltart taken to court

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Five teachers at the Apostolic Faith Mission-run Rufaro High School in Chatsworth, Gutu, have taken Education, Sport, Arts and Culture minister David Coltart to court over what they termed forced transfers from the mission school.

In papers filed at the Labour Court, Masvingo provincial education director, Clara Dube, is cited as the first respondent, education permanent secretary Stephen Mahere as second respondent and Coltart as third respondent.

The five — Constan Tandi, Simbarashe Chigumira, Muneyi Muneyi, Augustine Mushipe and Albert Munyoro, whose ages were not given — want the matter dealt with urgently.

They are being represented by Rogers Matsikidze. The case is set to be heard on January 30 in Gweru.

In their application, the teachers alleged that their transfer was meant to cow them after they allegedly accused the school and church officials of corruption. They also accused government of conniving with the church officials.

The teachers were forcibly removed from the school by AFM director of education Constantine Murefu for allegedly boycotting a prize giving ceremony and holding an unsanctioned meeting at the school last year.

Part of Murefu’s letter reads: “You boycotted a speech and prize-giving day and stormed out of the annual general meeting (AGM) last year and you held an unauthorised meeting soon after the AGM.

“You are therefore asked to vacate Rufaro School immediately”.

But in their notice of appeal, the teachers alleged the school’s disciplinary authority “erred in finding them guilty of boycotting the speech and prize- giving day when the matter was res judicata” (a matter already judged).

They also argued they were found guilty of walking out of the AGM when the matter “borders on de minimus (not enough to be considered) and was in complete disregard to the circumstances surrounding the meeting.”

The appellants also argued their transfer “was pre-meditated” and instructing them to leave the school within three days from the issuance of the order was insensitive.