Daramombe mission takes heavy toll from Anglican fight

HARARE - Perched at the eastern end of Daramombe Hills, about 45 km from Chivhu, Daramombe High School emerged at independence in 1980 as one of the best schools in Zimbabwe.

Following its destruction by war in the 1970s, the Anglican Church-owned school in Mashonaland East’s Chikomba district was brought to modern standards by former headmaster Simon Mujuru.

The school soon became part of the rib cage of the country’s education system.

When Mujuru, who is now Chikomba district education officer (DEO) joined the school, it had a pass rate of about 30 percent. It was raised to 99,6 percent during his time.

In 1994, under his tutelage, the school was electrified and science laboratories were established among other major developments.

Daramombe was the first school to introduce computer studies in Zimbabwe in 1995.

Students sat for both Cambridge and Pitman examinations in their final year of Ordinary Level.

Mujuru was also at the forefront of the establishment of Advanced Level in 2000 before he was promoted to the district office around mid 2007.

However, today the school is a pale shadow of its former self with standards collapsing.

The school is now playing second fiddle to two other church-owned boarding schools in the district such as Kwenda High School run by the Methodist Church and theRoman Catholic-owned St Francis of Assis High School.

Ironically, the Anglican diocese of Masvingo blames the man who catapulted the school to become an epitome of academic excellence for its demise.

Rev Muyengwa Murombedzi, who headed Daramombe Mission when the struggle between excommunicated Bishop Norbert Kunonga and Chad Ghandiya started, told the Daily News on Sunday that Mujuru was responsible for the decline in standards at the school, accusing him of abusing authority.

Murombedzi claimed that the Anglican school had now been overtaken in terms of pass rate by Kwenda and Assis.

He accused Mujuru of frustrating headmasters recommended to him by the diocese to portray the Church as failing to run the institution in order to influence government to take over the school as he was said to be fighting in Kunonga’s corner during the dispute.

This, he said, has seen the school having six headmasters in five years, compromising standards because of lack of continuity.

“Standards at the school have deteriorated to an all time low because of interference from the DEO and the provincial education director (Slyvester Mtshaka),” he said.

“There is no continuity at the school and we have had six headmasters since Mujuru became DEO in 2008 and the pass rate has fallen to unprecedented levels.

“The man has destroyed all that he helped to build over the years just to settle scores against the Anglicans. He has been taking advantage of the absence of a substantive head to demote acting ones on trumped up charges after resisting his orders that they should defy instructions from the Church.”

The church had recommended Denford Javangwe as the acting head after the departure of another head, a Mr Mungofa, but Mujuru has since demoted him after he was involved in a car accident with a school truck he was using.

Javangwe’s replacement, Mr Tavengwa threw in the towel after just one term  before his deputy Amos Takatya  took over.

Currently, Takatya is reported to be at loggerheads with Mujuru after he allegedly suspended errant students without his approval.

Unlike substantive headmasters whose posts are advertised first at provincial level, acting heads are appointed at district level by the DEO.

In the case of church-owned schools like Daramombe, the church makes recommendations to the DEO who will make appointments.

Mujuru however denies the allegations saying only the public service has power to demote headmasters.

“They (Anglican Church) are just being malicious. I am only a DEO and cannot demote a headmaster. The public service is their employer and it is the one that promotes or demotes,” he said.

Comments (4)

Its a fact Mujuru abused office and is helping do down the school.

beggar - 6 January 2014

The public service acts on your recommendations Mr DEO. You are the employer, don't fool us. If you want to be Head again simply go back and leave that office to someone else rather that kunzwa godo kuti vamwe vava kushandisa zvamakavaka. Munokara zvese!! Namatai baba, muverenge Bible muzoona kuti kudya zvekuzvimbirwa chitadzo vamwe vachifa nenzara.

Chikwaka - Mbano - 6 January 2014

VaMujuru I hope there is no truth in the whole story. GOD SAVE CHRIST THE KING MISSION!!!!!!!!

dan - 6 January 2014

Mr Mujuru, regerai kuda kuhwanda nemunwe. It is a well known fact that you meddle and interfere with the day to day running of Daramombe schools, be it the primary school or the high school. Appointments are effected by you, the public service acts as per your instructions. Tisingadi kutaura zvakawanda, when the courts ruled against Kunonga and Mr Chuma, the primary school headmaster was reinstated, why did you influence villagers to strike against his appointment? That was so unprofessional Mr D.E.O Unfortunately, those villagers were just being used by you and they spilled the cat out of the bag! And even the appointments you make dze teaching staff, munenge muine mamotives enyu vaMujuru. Deny it nditaure zvakawanda ndikupei nemazita zvakare. Rev Murombedzi was spot on in what he said about you.

Nelson - 27 May 2015

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