A headmaster in Makoni District is currently not facing any consequences despite being accused of raping a Grade Seven student at his school on two separate occasions the previous year. In order to protect the identity of the student, her name cannot be disclosed. She resides with her widowed mother in Matedza Village, Makoni.
The incident has become an open secret in the area, with most villagers being aware of the case, although no police report has been filed even several months after the incidents occurred.
According to the student, the first rape incident took place in September when she was in Grade Seven. She and her classmates were asked to stay behind for revision work before their final exams. On that particular day, she was the last one to leave after her peers from the same area had gone home. While walking along the road, she unexpectedly encountered the headmaster, who was smiling. He instructed her to stop and forcibly dragged her into the bushes, covering her mouth when she attempted to call for help. He proceeded to undress her and raped her against her will. Afterward, he promised her a dollar in exchange for her silence about the incident.
The minor, who completed Grade Seven at the end of the previous year, did not disclose the matter to her mother because she was uncertain of her reaction. However, she experienced another instance of sexual abuse when she went to collect her Grade Seven results at the school two months ago. Unfortunately, she was unable to obtain her results slip due to outstanding school fees, and as a result, she has not yet been able to attend secondary school.
The student’s mother revealed that she became aware of the issue when she suspected her daughter was displaying signs of pregnancy. She took her to the local Village Health Worker, who advised her to visit the clinic. However, medical tests confirmed that the student was not pregnant. The mother did not report the matter to the police as she confided in her daughter’s uncles and did not want to take action before they were involved.
During a recent visit to the school, it was discovered that the institution was deserted, and the headmaster had reportedly gone home for the holidays. His mobile phone was unreachable.
However, community members and teachers hinted that the student’s case might be just the tip of the iceberg. It was revealed that on various occasions, three parents attempted to hand over their daughters to the headmaster after he had sexually abused them.
A teacher, who chose to remain anonymous due to protocol, commented on the situation, stating that they believe the headmaster possesses some sort of supernatural power. They claimed that several girls had been victimized, but the issue only remained a topic of discussion within the community for a few weeks before fading away. The teacher even witnessed three separate occasions when parents arrived at the school with the intention of surrendering their sexually abused children to the headmaster, but somehow he managed to escape accountability.
When contacted for a statement, the Manicaland Provincial Education Director of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Mr. Edward Shumba, stated that the issue had not yet reached his office. He expressed gratitude for the information and assured that investigations would be conducted.