‘Drunkenness’ lands teacher in deep trouble


Teachers in legal battle over school fees dispute in Makoni

A disagreement over school fees has led to a legal battle between two teachers at Nerwande Primary School in Makoni. The conflict arose when Grace Chiparange, one of the teachers, allegedly sent Shepherd Chikosho’s child home for failing to pay fees on time.

However, Chiparange denies being responsible for sending children home over unpaid fees. She claims that Chikosho felt this was unfair and discriminatory, leading him to verbally attack her and tarnish her reputation. Chiparange also states that she lost the respect of the parents of the students.

She further alleges that during a sports event where their school was hosting two other schools, she was labelled a witch. The matter eventually reached Chief Makoni’s community court.

During their recent appearance before the community court, Chiparange demanded compensation of one beast or US$200, as previously ordered by a lower court. Chikosho had admitted to insulting Chiparange in front of Headman Masvosva’s community court, where he was initially ordered to pay the beast or US$200 by September. However, he failed to comply with the order.

According to Chiparange, on the day of the incident, she was the acting deputy head at Nerwande Primary School during a sports day involving two other schools. When the organizers announced that food was ready, she instructed all teachers, including Chikosho, to gather for lunch. However, when Chikosho was given a plate of food, he threw it away and accused Chiparange of being a witch, claiming she wanted to kill him and eat his corpse.

Chiparange denies being responsible for sending Chikosho’s child home due to unpaid fees, explaining that she was not involved in such decisions. Despite her attempts to clarify this, Chikosho persisted in blaming her. The situation escalated, resulting in intervention from other teachers and the headmaster’s office. The headmaster requested that Chikosho apologize, but he refused.

Feeling left with no other recourse, Chiparange took the matter to Headman Masvosva’s community court, where Chikosho was fined a beast. However, he has failed to fulfill the payment by the required date.

Chikosho admitted his wrongdoing and sought forgiveness, attributing his actions to alcohol consumption. He expressed regret upon learning about the incident from his wife after sobering up.

“I was drunk when this happened. I felt ashamed when my wife told me what had happened when I sobered up. When I was ordered by the headmaster to ask for Chiparange’s forgiveness, I did so, but she refused to accept my apology, insisting that she wanted to fix me. After that, her husband threatened to ruthlessly deal with me,” he said.

Chief Makoni, presiding over the case, ordered Chikosho to pay Chiparange the US$200 compensation, along with US$95 as lawsuit costs. Additionally, Chikosho was instructed to pay a fine of two goats to the court. Chief Makoni emphasized the importance of respecting Headman Masvosva’s judgment and adhering to stipulated deadlines. He also cautioned Chikosho against arrogance and disrespect towards his colleagues.

Chikosho has until March 2024 to settle his outstanding dues as per the court’s ruling.

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