Karibu Academy under probe for alleged students sexual harassment

The Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) and Ministry of Education have launched separate investigations into alleged sexual harassment at Kalibu Academy. The investigations follow social media reports that a teacher at the institution—a high school in Blantyre—allegedly tried to sexually assault a female student.

According to MHRC director of child rights Priscilla Thawe, who is leading the investigation team, said they expect to finish their probe this Friday. She said: “Initially, the plan was to finish the investigations on tomorrow and Thursday but we have to travel to Blantyre to meet the teacher and police. We have so far interviewed the student and mother.”

Thawe said the investigations have so far revealed other forms of abuses at the school, especially pertaining to corporal punishment. She said, therefore, the investigations will review the school’s documents to check what is outlined in institution’s policy.

Students at Karibu Academy

MHRC executive secretary Habiba Osman, in a statement yesterday called on the public, including parents, teachers and students themselves to contact the commission with any information they have regarding the alleged abuses.

The statement said MHRC has decided to investigate the allegations in regards to Section 129 of the country’s Constitution.

Ministry of Education Principal Secretary Chikondano Mussa also said the ministry has engaged various stakeholders in their investigations.

In a statement issued on Sunday, he said: “The ministry is working with relevant authorities to get to the bottom of the matter.”

Efforts to speak to the school’s head teacher Paisley Mavutula proved futile yesterday as he did not pick his phone when called on numerous occasions. But last year, the school’s director Michael Howard, in a letter to parents and guardians, who were expressing grievances over fees on social media, said the institution has proper channels for resolving issues.