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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Msengezi High School authorities accused of negligence

Story by Abigirl Tembo

PARENTS and guardians are up in arms with Msengezi High School authorities amid allegations of negligence after a Form Two student was severely injured under unclear circumstances.

This comes at a time when there are accusations of corruption, mismanagement and negligence at the Chegutu-based school.

While circumstances leading to the injury of the Form Two student are not precise, doctors have confirmed the boy sustained a broken jaw, four loose front lower teeth and a cracked molar tooth, among other injuries to his face.

The father Mr Everisto Tsomeka narrates the ordeal his son went through.

“On Saturday the 22nd day of July around 10 am, I received a call from the boarding master advising me to come and collect my son from the school since he had been injured. I instantly rushed to Msengezi, upon arrival my child was brought to me with his belongings and was told to take him to the hospital. Upon looking at him I noticed that he had a cut on the lower lip, a wound below the chin and he also told me that his lower teeth were shaking (4).

“I took my child to Norton Hospital, where I was advised that a request for medical treatment was required before they could treat him so I had to go back to ZRP Saruwe where I filed a report. Before I made the report I called the boarding master and he advised me that it was an administrative issue hence there was no need to involve the police. I called the school head at around 1700hrs on the same day asking for details of the mishap but he said he had not been informed about it.

“His advice to me was to get the child treated and I will meet the medical costs. Then on Monday, I took him to a doctor at Norton Hospital and he requested some x-rays, which we rushed to have taken at a private hospital in Norton. Upon seeing them we were referred to a specialist who discovered that my son had a broken jaw, 4 loose front lower teeth and a cracked molar tooth,” explained the father.

More than a week later, the school is yet to reach out to the parents or offer any medical assistance to the boy who can no longer speak or eat any solid food because of the injuries.

“As a parent, it’s my duty to give my child medical care when needed of which I had to foot my bills. Then on Wednesday the 26th, I visited the school trying to see the Headmaster in an effort to get details concerning the incident which I never got. I was told that the headmaster had gone out by the school caretaker who called him on his mobile phone and told me he was in Chegutu. Since then I haven’t had any official communication from the school despite writing to the school head. At present my son can’t talk, can’t eat and is surviving on fluids and soup. Imagine a child gets hurt at 9 pm and the parent is informed at 10 the following day. For now, that’s all I can share with you. Thank you,” said Nyarai Zungu, the mother.

Parents who spoke to ZBC News have accused school authorities of gross negligence saying this is not the first time they are turning a blind eye to such incidences.

“The situation at the school has reached another level and I believe our children are not safe especially at the dormitories. It is my belief that the headmaster is not in touch with the goings on at the school,” noted a concerned parent.

Another added, “There is no supervision even from the boarding master now there are a lot of stories coming out of the school including homosexuality. The children are just doing as they please.

“This incident is very saddening especially to us as parents you don’t expect such negligence from a school they should have taken the child to the hospital as soon as the incident happened and then call the parents and not just ignore them,” yet another parent said.

Contacted for comment, the school head Mr George Rambanepasi said he is not in a position to comment.

Parents have since written a petition to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to look into several issues including corruption, mismanagement and negligence.

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