Mugove Tafirenyika 8 June 2017
HARARE – Guardians of pupils at Gateway Primary School – an elite school
in Harare – are up in arms with the Parents Association Committee (PAC)
chairperson, Justice Marwisa, demanding his resignation over a litany of
allegations, including incompetence and corruption.
In a 64-page document to the school authorities detailing allegations of
their ill-treatment at the hands of their association, angry parents
accused Marwisa of working in cahoots with the school administration –
including the acting head Kevin Ricquebourg – to unilaterally make
important decisions without consulting them.
The parents accuse Marwisa of terminating the contract of a school tuck
shop tenant Marinda Feneysey without their prior knowledge.
The parents also accuse the authorities of financial mismanagement
especially in the area of infrastructural development projects saying “the
PAC is indeed very inactive in this area”.
“We demand your immediate resignation from office because we cannot have a
chairman who wilfully violates the association’s constitution through
which his authority is derived,” the petitioners – calling themselves the
Free-Speech body and led by Takaidza Raymond Madekunye – said.
“The moment a chairman attacks a group of parents who are exercising
their rights which they enjoy both in terms of the national constitutions
and that of the association, he becomes part of the problem not the
solution hence your actions have triggered a vote of no confidence against
Contacted for comment, the Gateway School Trust chief executive officer
Abe Gatsi dismissed the allegations as baseless.
Gatsi, however, admitted that the issue was a cause for “great concern as
this is creating anxiety among Gateway School parents and other key
stakeholders, thereby risking the smooth running of the school.
“It is our observation that in the case of the tuck shop, the correct
channels were not followed as this would have led to the matter being
resolved internally and as a result, the matter has spread externally to
those not mandated to comment with any authority on the issues at hand,”
He added that if the parents have issues with the association chairperson,
they should wait for an Annual General Meeting (AGM) or call for an
Extra-Ordinary General Meeting (EGM).
“It is at any of these meetings that they can dissolve the current
leadership and elect a new one but I must mention that we are not pleased
as a school by the parents’ blatant violations of our communication
channels which do not include the issue of petitions.
“Moreover, I thought if they have failed to discuss the problems if there
are any, they should have approached the trust through me so that we act
as the adjudicator in the matter but no one bothered to involve us, yet we
believe in harmonious co-existence with one purpose of delivering quality
education and building characters while in the process we exalt God since
we are a Christian institution.
“Only last month, the PAC called for a parents’ meeting where those issues
should have been raised but surprisingly none of them was present.”
But the parents insist that the termination of Feneysey’s tuck shop lease
was triggered by her personal differences with Marwisa.
“For a Christian institution to be so devious in its dealings bordering on
malevolence is absolutely unbelievable.
“These manoeuvres justify why the initial decision to remove her from the
tuck shop did not make any sense to a lot of parents . . . , your actions
show that this matter is more personal than professional . . . there is an
aftertaste of vindictiveness.”