11 July 2018
Panashe Machakaire and Gibson Nyikadzino
SODBURY High School has hogged the limelight on social media over the last couple of days with people calling for the school to be closed over poor hygiene and misleading adverts.
The school was founded by Richard Banda, father to Star FM’s Sport journalist Spencer, before his passing on in 2009, with the latter and his siblings becoming trustees of the school.
It is Spencer who has taken the brunt of social media users as he is constantly tagged over bad posts from the school.
However, the school’s headmaster has claimed that a new School Development Association (SDA) committee led by Chairperson Alice Chirenje-Munyoro has blown things out of proportion by trying to project the school negatively to stakeholders.
Over the previous weekend, pictures of students from the boarding school went viral on social media with claims of poor development initiatives by school administrators, unhygienic dormitories and a poor student diet.
In an interview, Sodbury’s school head Tapfumanei Gondo said he was shocked to see the pictures on social media despite plans that had been set to have a meeting with the new committee to chart the direction of the college.
“We wanted to have a meeting with the new SDA committee and we toured the school’s dormitories for boys. Unfortunately, they were taking pictures of the premises and interviewed the pupils about the state of food they get at the dining hall.
“It is unfortunate that this happened on a Saturday and on weekends we let the pupils clean their dormitories and maintain a higher form of cleanliness. So while we made the tour, that is when the committee chairperson started taking pictures and sending them. These were just pupils who were not even through with their weekend duties,” said Gondo.
Gondo, who has been with the school since 1997, also claimed there were squabbles between the Chirenje-Munyoro led committee and the previous one led by Gerald Sumani over committee finances.
The new committee came in office on April 17 and is yet to receive the financial statements from the outgoing committee.
Added Gondo: “Our relationship with the new committee is a little bit strained to an extent that the Chirenje-Munyoro committee is putting disturbing statements to our stakeholders. The squabbles by the two committees are the sources of the problems we have just seen on social media.
“They have gone to extremes of attacking the person of (Spencer) Banda and getting into his personal life, something that has no relevance to what is obtaining on the ground. They have made remarks that there is no water at the school, but we have running tap water and have tanks for storage.
“As a school, we take a professional stance and we commit to making things right. We just lack on some small issues like minor developments on floors, something we are addressing but we are having financial constraints because coffers are becoming dry.”
Gondo said the floors in the dormitories for both boys and girls were supposed to be tiled but the old committee took the tiles and used them for a new classroom block they have been constructing, and they have not yet replaced them.
. . . It is all about money?
THE new committee for Sodbury High’s SDA exchanged harsh words with the members of the old committee, H-Metro has established.
Alice Chirenje-Munyoro and her team are said to be refusing to accept the handover of responsibilities by the old committee, citing that they do not want to inherit debts accrued by the old team during their mandate.
Information received by H-Metro indicates the new SDA committee now has funds in their mobile wallets as they await the old committee to furnish them with financial statements.
When contacted for comment, Chirenje-Munyoro said they were in a meeting to resolve the issue hence had nothing much to say.
“What is best for you is coming to where we are having a meeting and hear what people are going to say, then afterwards look for me I will comment,” she said.
The chairperson of the outgoing committee, Gerald Sumani, said he is not aware of what is happening on the ground.
“I am not aware of what is going on. I have only heard about what you are saying on social media and also through the radio,” said Sumani.
. . . We are preserving our father’s legacy
STAR FM sport journalist Spencer Banda and his other seven siblings have said they hold a collective view to protect and preserve their late father’s legacy despite the on goings at Sodsbury High School.
The late Richard Banda died in 2009 and his children are trustees to the administration of the school.
“We are just fulfilling our father’s wish of having a successful school. We all want to balance the interests of the administrators and those of the stakeholders for continuity’s sake.
“My siblings and I hold this view to hold preciously what our father established. It is wrong to let this school slip through our hands. We all need peace and level headedness as we resolve these issues,” said Banda.