A HARARE headmaster on Thursday exchanged blows with parents in a row over school fees.
Wadzanai Primary School Headmaster Peter Saunyama was arrested for fondling and beating up a female parent in Kambuzuma, a feat he said was in self-defence as the parents were heavily descending on him.
Charges were withdrawn from police after Saunyama was also reported to have beaten another parent with a broom stick leading to his arrest.
Some of the parents and school children booed Saunyama as police led him to a police post where statements were recorded and later released after one of his victims withdrew the charges.
Saunyama told H-Metro that the parents turned violent that he was left with no option other than defending himself.
“Headmaster vatanga kuti murivana vadiki saka vamwe mai vabva vati handisi mwana mudiki nekuti ndave nemwana wamuri kudzidzisa,” she said.
“Head vabva vati budai muno ndisati ndakupwanyai pwanyai ndipo pavabva vatora broom stick kwava kundirova naro kaviri paruwoko rwangu rukazvimba.
“Police officer asked me to go for medical report and that will cost me money so I decided to withdraw the charges against the headmaster since I want him to give us our school fees he used,” said the victim.
Another victim who claimed to have been fondled on her breasts did not lodge a police report against Saunyama arguing that they fought and her fears were to be fined over the assault.
“Headmaster vandibata zamu rangu asi handina kuisa nyaya kumapurisa nekuti tarwa mu office mavo saka handina mari yekubhadhara fine yacho,” she said.
“Parents besieged my office demanding receipts for the payment they made to me during lock down,” said Saunyama.
“They hurled harsh words and were all over my office destroying mud cups and other items.
“Ndatsamwa ndikabva ndasundira mumwe wacho uko ndikatora broom stick ndokumurova ndakuedza kuzvi defender.
“My shirt was torn in the scuffle and my two cellphones nearly got destroyed.
“It is true that I have been receiving money in foreign currency and Ecocash from parents since our front office workers were on lockdown.
“I had to use some of my personal funds in making sure the school does not go down and I have been at this school since 1991.
“We ran out of receipt books that is why I decided to stamp cut out papers as proof of payment and this week I was expecting to hand over the money to our treasurer since I have names of all those who paid to me.
“My purpose is to develop the school and the children and our pass rate is at 71 percent to show that we discharge our duties well.
“We have the chairperson and treasurer to help us in booking all the payments done when I was running the school during the lockdown when most of our front office staffers were not coming.
“We recorded everything in our clock in and out books and no child will be sent away until we have all our books and receipt books in order.
“Parents rose against me for some reason. I want to believe this is coming from those who want me removed because some are against my presence here since 1991,” said Saunyama.
A Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education official only identified as Nyambuya cooled tempers of the disgruntled parents promising them to look into the issue.
“We have heard your issues and noted them down and I will meet the headmaster and see way forward and make sure every dollar is accounted for,” said Nyambuya. – H-Metro