Headmaster Found Guilty
15 February 2024
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Former Hartzell High School Head Convicted of Corruption.

In a significant development in the fight against corruption within educational institutions, Shorwi Kawadza, the former head of Hartzell High School, was convicted on charges of corruptly concealing personal interest in transactions during his tenure at the esteemed United Methodist Church-run learning institution. The conviction was handed down yesterday by Mutare Regional Magistrate, Mrs. Pethukile Msipa, who has since remanded Kawadza in custody pending sentencing scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday.

Details emerged in court revealing that between 2019 and 2022, Mutrue Investments Private Limited Company, co-directed by Kawadza, his wife, and son, engaged in business dealings with Hartzell High School, supplying a variety of goods including firewood, tomatoes, peanut butter, and vegetables. This period of undisclosed conflict of interest has raised serious concerns about the ethical governance of the institution.

The prosecutor, Mr. Tirivanhu Mutyasira, outlined that according to the United Methodist Church Operations Policies and Procedures Manual, any business transactions between Mutrue Investments and Hartzell High were classified as related party transactions. Such dealings required explicit authorization by the United Methodist Church Agencies of Annual Conference, a procedure Kawadza failed to follow, thereby violating the institution’s trust and policies.

Kawadza’s failure to declare his personal and familial interests in Mutrue Investments to the Church Agencies meant that there was no formal approval for these transactions. Furthermore, the court was informed that the Procurement Committee of Hartzell High School, which is responsible for overseeing such transactions, had not selected Mutrue Investments as an official supplier, nor had it deliberated on purchases from the company.

This conviction sheds light on the crucial importance of transparency and integrity in the management of educational institutions. Kawadza, represented by Mr. Victor Chinzamba of Mugadza, Chinzamba, and Partners, was found guilty of contravening Section 173 (a) (i) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act), Chapter 9:23.

As the community awaits the sentencing, this case serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of breaching ethical guidelines and the importance of upholding the principles of fairness and accountability in all professional conduct.