ZAOGA School Faces Closure Over Abuse
Ezekiel Guti Academy, a school owned by the ZAOGA church faces closure following the exposure of a shocking sexual abuse case in which a Form Three pupil at a Mutare college is alleged to have forced three Form One pupils to lick his private parts.
The Manica Post reports that officials from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education have recommended the closure of the ZAOGA school situated near Zimunya Township along the Mutare-Chimanimani Highway.
Manicaland Provincial Education Director, Mr Edward Shumba, confirmed the incident that came to light after the accused’s father visited The Manica Post offices to complain over the manner in which the case was handled by the school’s administration. Mr said:
_We have gathered that a disciplinary hearing was done and the suspected learner was expelled from the boarding facility and is now attending school as a day scholar. However, the boarding facility at this school is illegal and we have since told them to shut it down._
_These colleges do not have room for boarding facilities. There are certain things that are supposed to be available at a boarding school, including the quality of care that has to be given to boarders. All these are definitely lacking at this college._
_This case should have been formally reported to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. I don’t have a written version of what actually took place, but the report I got is that the abuse was investigated at the school._
_While this is an independent college, we have told the institution’s officials that this is not acceptable. We have told them that they need to do away with the boarding facility as they are clearly failing to take care of the boarders. They have no capacity to do that. This case has exposed their shortcomings._
However, the college’s board member, Mr Samuel Mutsaga, said he was not aware of the ministry’s directive for them to close the boarding facilities at the institution. He added:
_Coming to the sexual abuse case, the board was briefed about the issue by the principal and our understanding is that the involved student was found guilty and is no longer a boarder at the college._
_If this boy’s parent is not happy with the way the hearing was conducted, he should have followed proper procedures and brought his complaint to our attention, not to take the issue to the media. His actions are meant to tarnish the good image of the college._
School principal, Mr Silas Kaziboni said they are a Christian institution that does not tolerate any wayward behaviour adding that all affected students received counselling from the college’s chaplain so that they get over this embarrassing episode.
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