Mt Selinda students demonstrate against church … detained at Chipinge police station
By Mlondolozi Ndlovu
High school students from Mount Selinda mission school in Chipinge were on Tuesday detained at Chipinge police station after they held a demonstration against the United Church of Christ (UCCZ) church’s Reverend Tenson Mucheri.
The incident happened after they were differences between the school Headmaster Watson Bundwa and the church over the D4D Toyata Hillux car, bought by the headmaster against the church leadership’s wishes.
Mount Selinda is a school in Chipinge owned by the UCCZ church. Reverend Tenson Mucheri is the UCCZ Eastern conference superintendent.
Its alleged that Reverend Mucheri took the car from the school and began using it for personal business after a conflict with the school’s head.
This propelled students to travel from Mount Selinda to Chipinge to demonstrate against this issue at Reverend Mucheri’s offices. The police were called in to quash the demonstrations in which over 100 students mainly Form 4 students participated.
A Chipinge resident, Effort Manono, who witnessed the incident said: “The students looked very angry and they demanded the reverend to bring back their car, saying it’s their money.” Another resident identified as Likhani Muvhamba also confirmed the incident.
“I saw the police ordering the students to go to the police station after they persistently demanded that the Reverend give them the car,” he said.
Asked on the incident Reverend Mucheri said he was not at the offices by the time of the demonstration but referred questions to the church’s President Ephraim Ngadziore who admitted that the demo had occurred saying the students did not understand the role of church authorities in the operations of the school.
“It is true it happened (demo). These children are complaining about the car that the church took from the school. We took it because there was a misunderstanding between the headmaster and the church. No one is using the car and it is parked at the church offices” said Ngadziore.
Ngadziore further said the issue was now being dealt with by the Ministry of Education and that the children had been taken by the police.
A police officer at Chipinge, Welluzani Banda confirmed that they had arrested the children saying the matter was being ‘dealt with’.
“We are still looking into the matter. We have the kids here, they came from school to their church’ said Banda.
Efforts to get comment from the Ministry of Education were fruitless as the phone number for the Chipinge District Education officers was not available.