By Nhau Mangirazi
HUMAN rights defenders in Mashonaland East province have called on Primary and Secondary Education officials to institute disciplinary measures against a Mudzi headmaster who reportedly broke a pupil’s arm, while beating her for coming to school late.
Better Life Foundation director Emmanuel Manyati, who reported the case to education officials said legal proceedings should be instituted against Bangauya Secondary School head Jonathan Mwashaireni for his abusive behaviour.
Mudzi district education inspector David Mayimbo confirmed receiving the report, saying the matter was under investigation.
“It is true we received the report of the matter involving assault of a student at Bangauya Secondary School. We have since deployed an investigation team and I am still yet to get feedback on the matter. Without that, I can’t make any further comments,” Mayimbo said.
According to a letter written by Manyati to Mayimbo and copied to police officer-in-charge Mudzi district and the Department of Social Welfare, the 15-year-old girl (name withheld) suffered a fractured hand.
Manyati said the case was one of the many cases of abuse of the girl child’s rights committed in Mashonaland East province.
“It is uncalled for a headmaster to beat up a student who walks about 12km to school every day. She is one of hundreds coming from very poor backgrounds and are vulnerable. To her, education is the only source of hope in the marginalised hard to reach deep-end of Mudzi district,” he said.
Manyati castigated the headmaster for failing to protect vulnerable children.
“We have identified the school headmaster Mwashaireni as the culprit who broke the pupil’s arm for coming late to school,” Manyati said, adding that what was disheartening was that the headmaster did not consider “femininity and burden roles” piled on rural girls by Zimbabwe’s patriarchal society.
“We believe rural-based school officials must understand challenges that girls go through daily with family household chores. For the headmaster to be emotional and beat a student, breaking her arm is too cruel to say the least. We will not fold our hands while rural girls suffer abuse at the hands of ruthless men.”
Shamwari Yemwanasikana director Ekenia Chifamba said perpetrators of violence should be brought to book.
“We will not rest until the headmaster is brought to book. My heart bleeds when I think of the trauma that our girl is going through. We should join hands to unearth more of these untold stories of unbearable pain and trauma caused by those who we entrust with the future of our children,” she said.
Justice for Children official Goviati Chinga said they were also seized with the matter.
Mwashaireni could not be reached for comment at the time of going to print.