CHAOS reigned supreme at Kushinga Primary School in Odzi on Monday as parents bayed for the headmaster’s blood amid calls for his transfer following accusations that he was working in cohorts with a teacher who has been arrested for drawing blood from Grade One pupils for unknown reasons.
“I wanted to test them for malaria”
The headmaster, Lloyd Kagurabadza and his family were force-marched from the school by irate parents who left them about a kilometre away from the premises with stern instructions never to set foot at the school again.
The police had to restrain the angry mob.
The parents then called the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education offices, demanding Kagurabadza’s transfer.
The teacher at the centre of the wrangle, Gaynor Mudimu (32), is alleged to have taken blood samples from two learners.
She allegedly tried to buy their silence with a biscuit each.
Mudimu has since appeared before Mutare provincial magistrate, Mr Langton Carter for contravening Section 19 (1) (a) of the Anatomical Donations and Post-mortem Act, Chapter 15:01.
She, however, denied the charges, saying she only took the blood samples from the two children to conduct malaria tests.
She claimed that she had no ulterior motives.
Said Mudimu: “Your Worship, I was only testing them for malaria. I had no other intentions. l needed to test them for malaria as they looked sickly.”
Despite her arguments, Mudimu was remanded in custody to September 23 for trial.
Thurstone Mubvumbi represented the State.
Buying silence with biscuits
Allegations are that on September 5 at around 6pm, Mudimu invited an eight-year-old Grade One pupil to her house and drew blood samples from the minor’s finger.
“Mudimu inserted a clinical syringe on the minor’s left thumb and drew blood samples from her. After collecting the blood samples, she handed over one loose biscuit to the minor and sent her home.
“However, when the minor got home, she told her parents about what had happened. The minor’s parents reported the matter to the school’s deputy head, Estella Manjeese, before the matter was referred to the police,” said Mubvumbi.
On September 6, Mudimu is alleged to have asked her Grade One students to undergo a malaria test. One of the learners agreed to this and Mudimu left the classroom with her and proceeded to her house.
She drew blood from the minor’s finger and gave her one loose biscuit as payment for the process.
“Mudimu unlawfully and intentionally removed blood tissues from both juveniles when she knew very well that at law she is not authorised to do so,” argued Mubvumbi.
The blood samples and the syringes were not recovered and police investigations are underway.
Parents suspect ulterior motives
When The Manica Post visited the school in Rashipango Village under Chief Marange on Wednesday morning, officials from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education were conducting investigations and interviewing learners from Mudimu’s class to ascertain whether more children were subjected to the same treatment.
Kagurabadza was absent from work and Manjeese was acting in his capacity.
In an interview with The Manica Post, one of the victim’s aunt, Janet Kamudyariwa said she is suspecting that Satanism was at play.
“When the police came to pick the teacher, she failed to produce the blood samples. She says she misplaced them. We suspect that either she sold or drank the blood.
“We have a strong conviction that she was working in cohorts with Mr Kagurabadza because when we reported the incidents to him, he brushed us off, saying it was a personal matter,” she said.
“After we continued probing him, he called for a meeting with the parents. However, the meeting never materialised as the headmaster kept on giving flimsy excuses. This irked us, prompting us to take the matter into our own hands.
“We no longer want him here. He came here last year at almost the same time with Mudimu. We suspect they already knew each other before their transfer here,” fumed Kamudyariwa.
The other victim’s mother, Beauty Madzitire, who is also a teacher at the school, said she was in Mutare when the incident happened.
“My daughter was here with my sister. I am told that when Mudimu took the first blood samples from my daughter, she told her that she had little blood in her body. Mudimu allegedly asked my daughter to watch her as she took a bath so that she could draw more blood from her.
“If, indeed, she was testing her for malaria, why then did she have to watch her teacher taking a bath? My daughter is recovering from the trauma, the whole thing was just too much for her,” said Madzitire.
Headmaster’s whereabouts unknown all week
Another villager, Isaac Kassim said when quizzed about the issue, Mudimu said she was conducting experiments for an undisclosed development partner.
“Mudimu spent two days locked inside her house after we confronted her. She only came out when the police visited the school. We pray that Kagurabadza and Mudimu will never work with children again because they are evil,” he said.
Manicaland Provincial Education Director, Mr Edward Shumba confirmed receiving a report of the disturbances at Kushinga Primary School.
He said they are waiting for the law to take its course before deciding on the way forward.
“When we ascertained that it was a criminal offence, we forwarded the matter to the police and Mudimu was arrested,” said Mr Shumba.
He, however, said the ministry is failing to get in touch with Mr Kagurabadza as his mobile phone is off, while his whereabouts remain unknown since Monday when he was ejected from the school by the angry mob.
“Our officials were at the school on Monday and the head was not there. We are yet to get in touch with him, but investigations are in progress to find out if the allegations being levelled against him are true or false. If he is found to be guilty, we will also take disciplinary action against him,” said Shumba. – Manica Post