The Herald (Harare)

13 November 2012

Zimbabwe: 10 Boarders Steal, Roast School Pig

TEN Murewa High School pupils were last week expelled after they stole and roasted a school pig. The pupils -- who were all in Form Three -- are aged between 15 and 17 years. Mashonaland East acting provincial police spokesperson Sergeant Tendai Mwanza confirmed receipt of a report on the incident.

"We received information about the students who stole the pig from Murewa High School. I am still to get more details on the matter, but they will be charged with stocktheft," he said.

It is alleged that on October 27, the pupils went to the school's pigsty and slaughtered a pig within the school premises.

They had gone for four days without having meals because they had lost branded dinner plates they kept at their hostels.

School authorities reportedly barred the boarders from entering the dining hall without the plates.

After slaughtering the pig, two pupils went behind the group's back and alerted the school authorities.

A police report was filed leading to their arrest on stocktheft charges.

The headmaster reportedly expelled the group with the help of a Methodist church administrator who had travelled to the school from Harare.

Afterwards, the headmaster sent text messages to the pupils' parents informing them to collect their children from the police.

The text messages sent by the headmaster from the number 0772 750 321 read, "Please visit Murewa police station in connection with your son's involvement in stocktheft. Murewa High."

One of the students' parents Mr Onious Mtetwa said the dismissal of the students from school was unfair.

"We were notified of our children's acts through a text message. The authorities should have called us to report to the school and notify us. Our children were expelled after the intervention of a Methodist Church administrator and the school headmaster became evasive whenever we tried to engage him.

"Our children were detained for two days without food and had to be released after the district probation officer's intervention. Our children were expelled before they sat for their end-of-year examinations when we fully paid school fees.

"It is painful especially after we handed over our students to the school. We never thought responsible authorities could expel our students with a text message," Mr Mtetwa said.

Education, Sport, Arts and Culture Minister David Coltart condemned the school authorities' act.

"It is difficult to give a comment on that after getting the information first from the press. We have not received a report on the matter but I will look into it and establish the facts," he said.

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