Storm brews at Msengezi High School

Msengezi is a mixed government high school with an enrolment of 1 000 students and 46 teachers.

A STORM is brewing at Msengezi High School in Mashonaland West province where a section of parents is demanding the removal of the current School Development Committee (SDC) led by Leonard Matatu over suspected financial abuse and lack of accountability.

Disgruntled parents were reportedly ejected from school social media groups while the school head George Rambanepasi has also been implicated in targeting inquisitive parents.

In a letter seen by NewsDay, Rambanepasi claimed people are working hard to discredit him and his committee.

“The school would like to inform you that the following people purporting to be Msengezi High School parents are not parents. One of them (name supplied) is a former SDC employee whose service was terminated due to stealing and breaking food trunks.

“He/she is trying to come back to the school through the Labour Court. Please let's disregard any information that they post in any formal and informal groups,” partly reads the letter.

WhatsApp chats seen by NewsDay expose deep-seated anger in parents who now want the matter addressed by President Emerson Mnangagwa.

“The SDC’s term of office expired in April. Tosvika kuna President kana vakaita zvekutamba (We will contact the President, if they want to mess around). Msengezi Parents 4ED,” wrote one parent on WhatsApp.

There are also voice notes of agitated parents accusing Matatu and Rambanepasi of employing an iron fist rule.

“The SDC defends everything proposed by the headmaster (Rambanepasi) who does not communicate well with parents. Due to mismanagement of the school by Rambanepasi and Matatu, we need a change of leadership,” wrote the parents.

The petitioners are demanding an emergency general meeting (EGM) to elect new leadership.

“There are arbitrary fee increases without parents’ consent. We want an audit of solar, tractor and levy funds among other monies paid to the school authorities. All decisions by the Matatu led committee since April are null and void after their term of office expired,” the parents added.

Msengezi is a mixed government high school with an enrolment of 1 000 students and 46 teachers.

The tension has seen over 500 parents signing a petition calling for an EGM to pave the way for external auditors.

Rambanepasi denied the allegations this week.

“The last audit at the school was done in February 2023. Furthermore, we don’t have any crisis at the school. We have enough water here,” he said in a written response.

Rambanepasi denied abuse of office charges levelled against him.

“Those are misguided allegations and I am happy to meet anyone who can prove that,” Rambanepasi said.

Matatu also laughed off the existence of a petition against him and the SDC committee, saying they are just a few individuals pushing the agenda.

“Those purporting to represent parents are less than 10 people. If we are not running the school well, it is students that will sign a petition, not parents,” he said in a telephone interview.

“The petition is a non-event as we are in office according to the constitution but some people are misinforming other parents. We have been in office for less than 2 years and we have done more achievements than expected so we can’t be pushed out by a few misguided elements.”

 Provincial education director Gabriel Mhumha said he was unaware of any reports from Msengezi about disgruntled parents.

“I am sorry, I am yet to get any official communication on the matter, so I can’t comment on anything,” Mhumha said in a telephone interview.


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