In an unprecedented show of power, a Mash East traditional chief has fined a high school head $45 for keeping his two wives waiting at the school while he was having a meeting with his members of staff.
Kafura High head, Francis Mukwena confirmed the case in a telephone interview with The Mirror and said the incident has struck fear in the teachers and they can no longer work freely.
Sources told The Mirror that Chief Chitsungo (born Harrison Mufambira)’s two wives Miriam Kagova and Tarisai Chakaipa went to Kafura School to discuss disciplinary issues concerning their son who is a Form 4 student and is in the habit of beating up other pupils.
The first wife, Kagova found the head already in a meeting with his staff and had to wait. The second wife Chakaipa followed later to find out why Kagova had taken long to come back home and they are said to have waited until the meeting ended after 5 o’clock in the evening.
Chitsungo then summoned Mukwena to appear at his court last Thursday and he charged him with undermining the chief and his two wives by inviting the two to the meeting and keeping them waiting.
He also accused Mukwena of belittling him by asking to talk to the chief personally over his son’s misdemeanours.
Mukwena was found guilty and asked to pay $45 fine.
Chief Chitsungo confirmed the case and said it was dealt with by his chief aid, Paradzai Maurukira. He said that the head actually signed papers admitting that he was guilty.
Chitsungo said his first wife went to the school in the morning but only managed to see the head at five in the evening.
“When I later asked the head why he signed admission of guilty forms, he said that he did so because he was afraid,” said Chief Chitsungo.
Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe District Schools’ Inspector Manuel Chigariro said the matter was still to be brought to his attention.
Efforts to get a comment from the secretary for education were futile.
A teacher at the school who requested anonymity said the chief’s action has seriously undermined the authority of the head and his teachers as he has set a bad precedent for all schools in the area. He said that there is no teacher who can discipline the Chief’s children after this.
“Parents and their children will have no respect for their teachers after this anymore. The chief has set a bad precedent where he can charge teachers over issues to do with the running of schools. This is the worst kind of interference by a non-professional in the running of schools,” said a teacher.
“Yes pane kanyaya kakadaro kakaitika (yes this happened). The chief was in another room when the sentence was passed, machinda amambo ndiwo akandipa mutongo (the sentence was given by his aides). I feel kuti pakakanganisika (this was a bad precedent). We can no longer work freely, the environment is no longer friendly, the teachers are now furious, they are afraid,” said Mukwena.
In this particular case, the chief’s son is said to have assaulted a Form 1 pupil.