By Helen Kadirire
Lessons at Sunningdale 2 Primary School in Harare have resumed following a heated meeting between angry parents, officials from the Primary and Secondary Education ministry and the school’s administration.
At a rancourous meeting held yesterday, parents advised the ministry officials that unless the satanism issue was resolved, the school would be effectively closed on Monday next week.
This comes after more than 200 parents besieged the school on Monday, baying for the blood of the institution’s deputy headmistress whom they accuse of practising satanism.
The deputy headmistress, only identified as Marawa, strenuously denied the allegations.
“The safety of our children matters more than trying to portray a false image that everything is well at the school.
“We want the ministry of primary education to allow us to bring in traditional healers and prophets to cleanse the school so that whatever is happening ends.
“Since the beginning of this term, three children have died and others are manifesting because of satanism,” a fuming parent said.
He warned that unless the satanism matter was resolved conclusively, the last day for children to attend school would be Friday.
Sunningdale legislator Margret Matienga told the Daily News that the ministry should take the matter seriously to avoid any more alleged loss of life.
She said the issue of satanism is, however, difficult to prove considering that people do not have evidence to that effect.
“The ministry should seriously look into the matter and conduct the relevant investigations to avoid this mess.
“The officials being sent to resolve the matter are not doing due diligence to it, they just come for meetings and do not report back to the residents on what was resolved,” Matienga said.
She said the deputy headmistress cannot be arrested or fired based on speculation, there needs to be tangible evidence to substantiate the allegations.
Director of primary and non-formal education Peter Muzavazi addressed the parents saying the ministry cannot just fire an employee.
He said investigations into the satanism as well as other issues would be conducted and the ministry will communicate on a way forward.
“Satanism or witchcraft is very difficult to prove. We cannot just fire or transfer a person without conducting investigations into the allegations,” Muzavazi said.
Incidents of alleged satanism in schools are on the increase in Zimbabwe.
In February this year, officials at Maramba Secondary School in Mutawatawa and St Joseph Secondary School in Rusape ordered the closure of the two institutions following a satanism scare.
It was being alleged that students at these school were allegedly initiated into satanism after receiving money and gifts from a classmate.
In July last year, pandemonium rocked Nyanyadzi High School in Chimanimani after angry parents stormed the institution, accusing four teachers of initiating 10 students into satanism. DailyNews