By Wenceslaus Murape
HWEDZA- A Secondary school teacher in Hwedza has been fired for smoking mbanje, cigarettes and drinking beer with pupils during a school trip. John Madanhi appeared before a disciplinary committee and was found guilty of improperly associating with a girl whom he gave beer.
Madanhi was also accused of leaving for South Africa without authority. He was later deported. Madanhi was found guilty and discharged from service for the allegations that arose at Hwedza Centre. Aggrieved by the dismissal, he appealed to the Labour Court seeking reinstatement.
He argued that he neither drank beer in the bus nor smoked mbanje and cigarettes with pupils. Madanhi further argued that he did not improperly associate with the girl as alleged. He submitted that he did not fail to control pupils while they were at Hwedza Centre.
The Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture opposed Madanhi’s application maintaining that he was guilty. The Government said although he had denied providing cigarettes to the pupils, Madanhi did not deny that they were smoking.
The employer further argued that the girl admitted to sitting next to Madanhi and that he gave her alcohol. It also submitted that Madanhi was deported from South Africa, thereby tarnishing the service’s image. Labour Court president Ms Betty Chidziva noted that it had not been disputed that pupils were smoking cigarettes in the bus.
It was also not in dispute that they were drunk and chaotic in the bus. Said Ms Chidziva: “It’s also undisputed that Madanhi went to South Africa and was absent from duty for two months without filling leave forms.
“There is evidence from witnesses on record that he was drunk. Schoolchildren were drinking and smoking and there was no one to control them as Madanhi was also drinking.” She said the record also had evidence that there was improper association between him and the girl not only on that day, but also on other days at school.
Ms Chidziva said Madanhi’s behaviour clearly showed that he breached the trust bestowed upon him by parents, the school and the Public Service Commission. “Madanhi’s behaviour was contrary to stipulated principles. There is also no proof that he was given authority to be absent from duty,” she said. The Herald