- Southern Africa
16 boys expelled for eating school’s pigs
SIXTEEN boys have been expelled from Cyrene Mission near Bulawayo for skinning and eating two pigs belonging to the school. All the expelled students were in Form 4.
The expulsion of the students amplifies problems faced by Zimbabwean schools which have not been spared by the country’s economic meltdown.
Many students at boarding schools are now asked to bring their own food with schools struggling to match up their budgets with runaway inflation which is officially 2 million percent.
It is understood that the boys drove the pigs to a secluded place at the school farm, killed them, roasted all the meat and ate it.
After two days school authorities conducted a count and revealed that two pigs were missing, and a manhunt was ordered. It was discovered that the pigs were killed.
Information leaked to the authorities that the boys had killed them. They were identified and asked to go home and bring their parents. They were then expelled.
Stock theft carries a sentence of 27 years in jail without the option of a fine, and the boys should count themselves lucky that school authorities did not hand them over to the police, it is said.
One of the expelled boys said they stole the animals due to hunger, which is affecting virtually all boarding schools due to nationwide food shortages.
"We survive on boiled beans and vegetables," said the student. The pupils said they went to class in the morning on empty stomachs because there was no sugar and maize meal for porridge.
"We have nothing during tea time. We only eat during lunch. It is unbearable. We are like prisoners at Khami Maximum," he added.
Form Ones and Form Twos who could not cope with the situation due to their age, spend the day sleeping at their dormitories instead of going to class.
The Zimbabwe government, battling to contain the economic meltdown, has ordered price controls in various sectors. Schools are made to charge ridiculously low fees, without supporting subsidies for their access to services.
One of the country’s best schools, Mzingwane High in Matabeleland South, failed to re-open on time after the June 27 presidential election run-off as authorities failed to secure food for pupils. The school opened two weeks later.
Parents are forced drive to schools every weekend to provide supplementary food to their children, which is costly.