O-Level exam can­di­date sues school, min­is­ter in re­sponse

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Mashudu Net­sianda

AN Or­di­nary-Level pupil sit­ting for pub­lic ex­am­i­na­tions has taken Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Lazarus Dokora and the Ro­man Catholic-run Em­bakwe High School au­thor­i­ties to court fol­low­ing his ex­pul­sion from the school for pray­ing in an “un­ac­cept­able” Pen­te­costal way.

Prom­ise Mpala (17) was ex­pelled from the Plumtree school by the head­mas­ter, Mr Martin Ndlovu, after he was found pray­ing with 17 other pupils on the school grounds in a man­ner deemed un­ac­cept­able and con­trary to the Catholic way of wor­ship.

Prom­ise’s mother, Mrs Nqo­bile Mpala, has through her lawyer Mr Bruce Masamvu of Dube-Ta­chiona and Ts­van­gi­rai Le­gal Prac­ti­tion­ers filed an ur­gent cham­ber ap­pli­ca­tion at the Bu­l­awayo High Court cit­ing Dr Dokora, Mr Ndlovu and Em­bakwe High School as the re­spon­dents.

Mrs Mpala is seek­ing an or­der di­rect­ing the re­spon­dents to im­me­di­ately re-ad­mit her son into the school with full ben­e­fits of board­ing and li­brary fa­cil­i­ties.

She also wants the court to bar the re­spon­dents from in­ter­fer­ing with Prom­ise’s school and ex­am­i­na­tion at­ten­dance.

Mrs Mpala is ac­cus­ing the school au­thor­i­ties of phys­i­cally and psy­cho­log­i­cally vic­tim­is­ing her son and in­ter­fer­ing with his right to ed­u­ca­tion for no jus­ti­fi­able rea­son.

Prom­ise and his friends were sum­moned to Mr Ndlovu’s of­fice on Sun­day last week after they were found pray­ing to pass ex­ams in a Pen­te­costal man­ner in­stead of the Ro­man Catholic away. Prom­ise, who the school au­thor­i­ties say had a pre­vi­ous warn­ing, was then ex­pelled while his friends were warned.

“My son was told that he was no longer wel­come at Em­bakwe High School as the third re­spon­dent (Mr Ndlovu) had made a de­ci­sion to ex­pel him for what he re­ferred to as un­ac­cept­able and un­ruly wor­ship prac­tices. The mi­nor child was told that he no longer had a place at the board­ing school and he was or­dered to find a way of in­form­ing me so that I could come and col­lect him,” said Mrs Mpala in her found­ing af­fi­davit. She said when she ar­rived at the school last Tues­day, she dis­cov­ered that her son had al­ready been evicted from his dor­mi­tory and or­dered to sleep in a store­room alone. “My mi­nor child is in Form Four and he is writ­ing his ex­am­i­na­tions at the school. How­ever, be­cause the third re­spon­dent (Mr Ndlovu) has re­fused him en­try into the school, he will be prej­u­diced in that he has nowhere to stay while writ­ing ex­am­i­na­tions,” said Mrs Mpala. She ar­gued that she stood to suf­fer ir­re­versible fi­nan­cial prej­u­dice after hav­ing paid board­ing fees.

“I paid board­ing fees in or­der for my son to be able to learn and write ex­am­i­na­tions in the com­fort of school premises as well as use li­brary fa­cil­i­ties,” said Mrs Mpala.

She ac­cused the au­thor­i­ties of be­ing mis­chievous and act­ing out­side the rules gov­ern­ing the run­ning of the school.

“I aver that I’m un­aware that the school rules de­fine the Ro­man Catholic way of pray­ing and ban any other way of pray­ing be­cause I was never given a copy of such rules.

“I’m how­ever, for­ti­fied in my be­lief that this is an act of mis­chief by the head­mas­ter and noth­ing to do with school rules. In fact, pray­ing is the same for all churches in­clud­ing the Ro­man Catholic,” said Mrs Mpala.

She said Mr Ndlovu once threat­ened to as­sault her son for pray­ing in a Pen­te­costal man­ner and ac­cused him of in­flu­enc­ing other pupils.

“The head­mas­ter’s ac­tions are il­le­gal and con­trary to the law in that as the one play­ing the role of a par­ent or guardian at the school, he has de­cided to abuse the mi­nor child un­nec­es­sar­ily,” said Mrs Mpala.— @ mash­nets.

A worker at a com­pany that sells bore­hole wa­ter fills up a 2 000 litre tank for a client at the com­pany premises at the corner of Ge­orge Silundika Street and 14th Av­enue in Bu­l­awayo re­cently (Pic­ture by Den­nis Mudza­miri)

Min­is­ter Lazarus Dokora

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