Bulawayo Teacher Fined For Insulting Headmistress

A PRIMARY school teacher in Bulawayo who was fined $100 for insulting her superior following a dispute has approached the High Court challenging her conviction and sentence.

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Siphiwe Tapedzanyika (40), a teacher at Lobengula Primary School was last year convicted of criminal insult by Bulawayo magistrate, Mr Franklin Mkhwananzi.

She was sentenced to 30 days imprisonment with the option of paying $100 fine.

She insulted the school headmistress by calling her a “witch and stupid thief” following an argument over her sick leave.

Tapedzanyika, through her lawyers, T Hara and Partners Mutuso, filed an application at the Bulawayo High Court challenging her conviction and sentence.

In papers before the court, the State was cited as the respondent.

In her notice of appeal, Tapedzanyika said the magistrate erred and misdirected himself when he believed in the evidence of the State witnesses, arguing that the testimonies had discrepancies.

“The court a quo erred in not accepting the appellant’s explanations and failing to scrutinise the behaviour of the complainant towards the appellant,” argued Tapedzanyika’s lawyers.

She said the magistrate failed to appreciate that the State failed to place evidence proving beyond reasonable doubt that she committed the offence.

Tapedzanyika said the sentence was harsh.

The State has not yet responded to the application.

According to court papers, on July 13 last year and at Lobengula Primary School in Bulawayo, Tapedzanyika had a misunderstanding with the school headmistress, Ms Lilian Mudzudzu (59).

Tapedzanyika insulted Ms Mudzudzu calling her a “stupid thief” and witch who uses charm.

The dispute emanated from Tapedzanyika’s “suspicious” sick leave, which Ms Mudzudzu sought to have clarified.

Tapedzanyika was restrained by another teacher from continuing with the verbal assault. A report was made to the police leading to Tapedzanyika’s arrest.

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