A headmaster at Gavhunga Secondary School has reportedly set up illegal boarding facilities at the school, exposing girls to abuse. The school is in Mhondoro and falls under Kadoma District.
The Herald is reliably informed that Mr Shupikai Zivanai has been providing boarding facilities for pupils at the school for the past two years.
The pupils are accommodated in teachers’ houses where there is no one to monitor them as done in a proper boarding school. A number of girls are reported to have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of some male teachers, which was covered-up.
“Some girls were sexual victims of some student teachers and when the abuse was revealed, the headmaster ensured that it was swept under the carpet. In fact, the student teachers were made to pay $80 fine to the parents of the girls that were abused,” a source told The Herald.
The Herald phoned Mr Zivanai and he confirmed that some pupils were staying at the school. He denied running an illegal boarding facility and pocketing boarding fees paid by the pupils.
“Yes, some pupils are staying at our school sharing houses with teachers, said Mr Zivanai. I am not involved. It is their parents who engaged the teachers and they agreed to stay with the pupils.”
The Herald understands that Mr Zivanai went on to threaten some teachers at the school with dismissal after receiving a phone call from The Herald.
He has since launched a witch-hunt intended to punish teachers who could have alerted The Herald of the illegal boarding facility. In an interview, Secretary for Primary and Secondary Education Dr Sylvia Utete-Masango said the ministry did not condone such acts and promised to take action over the matter.
“The ministry does not allow such arrangements in day schools, she said. Our offices have always been open for those who desire to have their schools having boarding facilities and we have not been turning their applications down.
We surely cannot have an arrangement where pupils will be staying with teachers.” Dr Utete-Masango said the ministry had since dispatched officials to investigate developments at Gavhunga Secondary School.
“I have sent a team made up of people from relevant departments in our ministry together with our chief internal auditor, she said. They have not reported back. I will only know when they come back.”
Dr Utete-Masango urged parents to consider taking their children to proper boarding schools to protect them from any forms of abuse they may be subjected to by such unlawful arrangements.