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Barefooted Pupil Barred From Exams

It has emerged that a form four student at Mweyamutsvene Mission School was disqualified from sitting for his English and Commerce Zimsec e...

It has emerged that a form four student at Mweyamutsvene Mission School was disqualified from sitting for his English and Commerce Zimsec examinations because he did not have shoes. Mweyamutsvene Mission is a Catholic Church school in Manicaland Province.

Reliable sources told The Herald that Belvin Chibi, candidate number 3081, lives with his grandmother. Sources said the grandmother could not afford to buy a pair of shoes for Chibi. Bocha is a poverty-stricken area.

Chibi was reportedly kicked out of the examination room by the headmaster’s wife — Mrs Nyasha Rubende — who teaches at the same school with her husband, Mr Abel Zebron Rubende.

“The boy stays with his grandmother and had footed all the way to school to write the national examinations. He was barred from sitting for the examinations by Mrs Rubende because he had no shoes,” said the source.

Mr Rubende yesterday confirmed Chibi did not write the examinations but gave a different narrative.

He sounded in defence of his wife.

“That is not true. People are exaggerating the matter and are probably pushing a hidden agenda. The pupil went into a wrong examination room and chose to go home when the anomaly was noted instead of going to the right examination room,” he claimed.

He confirmed the pupil had initially been ordered “to dress properly” as he was barefooted.

Mr Rubende alleged the pupil willingly chose to come for the examinations barefooted.

He said he has since appointed a team led by the deputy headmaster, only identified as Chakwakwama, to investigate the matter.

Mr Rubende instructed The Herald to phone him after two hours for a fuller briefing on the matter.

When contacted later on he said: “I am proceeding with the investigations. I am also compiling a report on the case for submission to the district education office.”

He begged The Herald not to publish the story saying it was not accurate.

Efforts to get a comment from Mrs Rubende were fruitless as her mobile phone was unreachable.

A resident priest at the school, only identified as Father Emeka of Nigerian origin refused to comment on the matter referring all questions to the deputy headmaster.

“I will refer you to the deputy headmaster. They are the people who deal with student affairs. The headmaster is the right person to talk to you,” said the priest.

However, The Herald understands that Mr Rubende had launched a witch-hunt on who could have leaked the matter to The Herald.

The sad development comes amid reports yesterday that more than 47 000 Form Four and Form Six pupils either dropped out of school or failed to register for public examinations countrywide last year due to poverty.