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    Tuesday, 31 October 2017

    High Court Judge goes down memory lane

    •    Corporal punishment is necessary – Justice Mafusire

    MATTHEW TAKAONA

    ZVIMBA – Masvingo High Court Judge, Justice Joseph Mafusire who went to Kutama High at the height of the liberation struggle and the dawn of Zimbabwe's independence in 1980 took students, parents and teachers down memory lane two weeks ago when he was the guest of honour at the school's speech and prize giving day.
    Two most memorable things to Justice Mafusire was the visit by the then Zimbabwe Prime Minister, Robert Mugabe to Kutama a few months after he led his party to an election victory in 1980. He also remembered the severe corporal punishment administered on students by the school head and teachers.
    Justice Mafusire told the Prize Giving Ceremony that although he is one of the High Court judges who recently passed a ruling banning corporal punishment in Zimbabwe, he personally supports corporal punishment as a form of discipline.
    He said the school head, Cuthbert Musiiwa and his teachers severely whipped the students but still he doesn't complain and in fact he is a happy man because of that.
    He said he is  sure that many of the former students in high offices are who they are partly because of the corporal punishment administered on them. He however, cautioned that corporal punishment must be reasonable rather than severe.
    "Kutama College has been unflinching in matters of discipline. The Bible says in Proverbs 12:1 "Whoever loves discipline, loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.
    "Tairohwa zvemazvirokwazvo macomrades! Kubikwa zvemandorokwati! (We were thoroughly beaten!)
    "But do I complain? No-o! Do I bear grudges against my teachers? Not in the least. Am I happy that I went through it all? Ye-e-es," exclaimed Justice Mafusire.
    He said the fact that the High Court made a ruling abolishing corporal punishment did not mean that he agreed with the idea. He said he and other judges arrived at that ruling because they were merely interpreting the provisions of the new Constitution of Zimbabwe.
    "I happen to be one of the Judges who wrote a judgement to the effect that corporal punishment is abolished. Of course this has nothing to do with whether or not one believes in the wisdom, or lack of it, of such a position, especially in the light of the adage that says spare the rod and spoil the child. Our primary duty as Judges is simply to interpret and pronounce the law, as we understand it," said Justice Mafusire.
    Corporal punishment is however, still legal in Zimbabwe because the Supreme Court later quashed the ruling made by the High Court.
    "My point is, discipline, of course not brutality or savagery, is very critical to success in any field. Accept rebuke. Embrace correction. Listen to instruction.
    "King Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 7:5 "It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the songs of fools.
    "But kuranga not kuponda, kwakanaka. Vamwe kuti tive zvatiri nhasi uno kutsiurwa nekurohwa kana tainge tadarika. Handirevi kuti taive nhunzvatunzva. Aiwa, asi nepfungwa dzeudiki, pamwe taidarika apo neapo. Zvimwe dzimwe nguva nekurohwa ikoko kwakazoburitsa Judge mune vamwe vedu, MaEngineers mune vamwe, maDoctors, businessmen and son on.
    "Ini dai ndaiwana mumwe mukana ndaimbodzoka kuzomborohwa futi," said Justice Mafusire.
    He went down memory lane and described the jubilant mood that gripped Kutama when President Mugabe who is a former student of the school paid a visit four months after he became the first Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.
    Justice Mafusire said the event was historic for the school. He gave the institution a picture of President Mugabe held aloft by students while standing on planks of wood during the visit. Justice Mafusire who was at Kutama from 1977 to 1980 said the idea of lifting up Mugabe on the planks came from one of the brothers at the Roman Catholic-run school, Brother Joseph. 
    Justice also described a tragic incidents in which one of the teachers at the school lost sight following an ambush attack during the war.
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