Anointing oil torches storm

PARENTS with children at Checheche Primary School in Chipinge District are furious over allegations that a female teacher applied “anointed” lotion from her church to 15 children, saying it will help them pass exams.

The issue raised emotions last week at the sprawling growth point, particularly among parents with children at the school, amid fears of a repeat of the recent Nyanyadzi High School Satanism scare incident.

A demonstration that was initially organised by parents last Friday was thwarted by the timely intervention of Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education district officials. Checheche Primary School headmaster, a Mr Gandi, referred all questions to the provincial office.

“You can get all details from the Provincial Education Director. He is the one entitled to speak to you. All we can do is get information and forward it to the district office for onward transmission to the provincial office,” he said.

Provincial Education Director, Mr Edward Shumba, confirmed that his office is investigating the matter. “Yes, I have heard of the issue, but it is too early for me to make a comprehensive comment. I have assigned people on the ground to investigate the matter,” said Mr Shumba.

When The Weekender visited Checheche Primary School last Friday, lessons were progressing on well although the situation was a bit tense, with a few police officers milling around the place. One of the guardians of the affected children, who declined to be named, said parents of most of the affected children were not residents of that area.

“What happened was that the teacher gave the children anointed lotion which she said she got from her church. She has about 15 children in her class. After giving them the lotion she instructed them not to tell anyone.

“However, three of them told their guardians. That is how I got to know about it. I raised the issue with the parents of the child who are in South Africa. They were so agitated about it. They got in touch with their counterparts who are based in Harare and mooted the idea of having a demonstration at the school.

“We were then informed that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education district officials came here and the teacher in question actually pleaded guilty. Reports were taken to the parent ministry and we are awaiting their response,” she said. – Manica Post