High Court re­verses school­boy ex­pul­sion

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Mashudu Net­sianda Se­nior Court Re­porter

THE High Court has or­dered Ro­man Catholic Churchrun Em­bakwe High School to re-ad­mit an Or­di­naryLevel pupil who was ex­pelled from the school for pray­ing in an “un­ac­cept­able” Pen­te­costal way. The pupil is sit­ting for na­tional pub­lic ex­am­i­na­tions. The rul­ing by Bu­l­awayo High Court judge Jus­tice Lawrence Kamocha fol­lows an ur­gent cham­ber ap­pli­ca­tion by Prom­ise Mpala’s mother on be­half of her 17-year-old son chal­leng­ing his ex­pul­sion from the Plumtree school by the head­mas­ter, Mr Martin Ndlovu.

The school­boy was ex­pelled af­ter he was found pray­ing with 17 other pupils at the school grounds in a man­ner deemed un­ac­cept­able and con­trary to the Catholic way of wor­ship. The school­boys were al­legedly speak­ing in tongues. Prom­ise’s mother, Mrs Nqo­bile Mpala, in her ap­pli­ca­tion had through her lawyer Mr Bruce Masamvu of Dube-Ta­chiona and Ts­van­gi­rai Le­gal Prac­ti­tion­ers, cited Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Lazarus Dokora, Mr Ndlovu, the school’s head­mas­ter and Em­bakwe High School as the re­spon­dents.

Jus­tice Kamocha or­dered the school to im­me­di­ately re-ad­mit Prom­ise into the school with full ben­e­fits of board­ing and li­brary fa­cil­i­ties.

The judge also barred the school au­thor­i­ties from in­ter­fer­ing with Prom­ise’s school and ex­am­i­na­tion at­ten­dance.

He said Mr Ndlovu had no au­thor­ity to sus­pend a pupil with­out first no­ti­fy­ing the par­ent Min­istry.

The head­mas­ter sus­pended Prom­ise pend­ing ex­clu­sion con­fir­ma­tion from the Min­istry of Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion.

The head­mas­ter, through the Civil Divi­sion of the At­tor­ney-Gen­eral’s Of­fice, ar­gued that the pupil con­ducted him­self in a man­ner that was not ac­cepted by the school au­thor­i­ties in a num­ber of oc­ca­sions in vi­o­la­tion of the school rules.

“His at­ten­tion was drawn to his un­ac­cept­able way of pray­ing on 17 April 2016. He promised to de­sist from that kind of be­hav­iour while at the school un­til he fi­nalised his O-Level stud­ies,” said Ms Re­joice Hove of the AG’s Of­fice.

Mrs Mpala ac­cused 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 two weeks ago 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. Mrs Mpala, in her found­ing af­fi­davit, said when she ar­rived at the school three days af­ter the ex­pul­sion, she dis­cov­ered that her son had al­ready been evicted from his dor­mi­tory and or­dered to sleep in a store­room alone. 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. — @mash­nets.

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