Parents with children attending Shungu High School in Kwekwe have petitioned authorities overseeing the Roman Catholic school over alleged sexual abuse of pupils.
In one of the cases, five students accuse the priest in charge at the school, father Msindo, of sexually abusing them.
Further allegations against Father Msindo include hailing insults, hate speech and victimising teachers at the school in front of the learners.
The parents have warned of going public with the alleged abuses perpetrated by Father Msindo if he is not transferred to another school.
To cover up for the issues, the school has resorted to firing the boarding master George Matanga who stood against children’s abuses when he vowed to sleep outside with eight pupils who had been flushed out of hostels at night for non-payment of school fees.
According to reports, a complaint was logged at the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education’s midlands offices where the District Schools Inspector undertook to investigate the matter.
“As parents we have raised concerns during term 1 of 2021 through a petition to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education’s District Schools Inspector (DSI) in Kwekwe about the ill-treatment, abuse of school kids, suppression of parents’ views in to regards school operations, hate speech and staff victimisation by Fr Msindo.
“We note the Kwekwe DSI responded to the issues that were also reported in a local newspaper, visited the school to investigate and regretted that the matter was not dealt with thoroughly,” reads the petition.
Further concerns by the disgruntled parents have also questioned why Father Msindo’s alleged actions haven’t been addressed.
“We also questioned why for two years father Msindo has been working with an illegitimate school development committee, to which we suspect collusion to abuse of office and suppression of parent’s participation.
“To this effect, we call on ZACC to probe the priest in charge on suspicious abuse of office relating to how he has moved some property from his boarding house to his other house,” complained the parents.
The petition also claims that the priest in charge had turned hostile to fellow staff before causing their dismissal.
“We were informed that the priest in charge was to be transferred to Chaka Mission with effect from August 1, 2021, but before he left he has chosen to victimise those he thought caused his transfer by holding illegal hearings to either cause their dismissal or transfer, particularly the boarding master and matron.
“These were key staff members who provided welfare to our children and protected them, they just can’t be dismissed without proper sanctioned hearings by the diocese including independent stakeholders like the SDC or the ministry.
“We feel the two were victimised for holding truths around matters relating to possible ill treatment and abuse of children,” added the petition.
The parents also accuse the priest in charge of damaging the school’s reputation.
“To avoid further damage to the institution, we implore that the diocese to restore sanity at Shungu High School by halting the dismissal of a much loved members of staff, this has to be done to avoid public shame come opening of schools.
“To that effect, the hearings to dismiss key staff dealing with learners should only be left to the incoming priest in charge to avoid victimisation, hence illegal, unfair and not in the spirit of justice,” reads the letter.