An unidentified man broke into Mpalangwazi School head teacher’s office in Machinga where he set ablaze teaching and learning materials and church pews, church hymns and choir drums at a nearby St Pio Roman Catholic church.

“We have not yet assessed the value of the damaged property,” the Mpalangwazi school head teacher, Raphael Mtapa told the Malawi News Agency in an interview at the school in Traditional Authority Nyambi’s area this morning.

The unidentified man entered into the head teacher’s office through a door, according to Mtapa who reported the matter to Nselema Police in the district.

“In the head teacher’s office the unidentified man burnt to ashes assorted teaching and learning materials that included 10 cartons of chalk, text books of various subjects, 50 dusters , 50 slates, chairs, tables and Malawi National Examination Board past papers for various subjects,” narrated Mtapa.

The school head also said school uniform and football uniform that were kept in his office have been burnt to ashes.

In the church the unidentified man set ablaze 27 church pews, five choir drums and seven church hymns which all valued at about K100,000, according to St Pio church committee.

Machinga District Education Manager, Enoch Chumachao described the incident as a setback to primary education.

“Learners did not attend school today as the mood at the school was gloomy as traditional leaders and members of St Pio Church were around the school the whole morning to learn the truth about who set the fire and the motive behind,” explained Chumachao.

Despite the incident, Chumachao assured local leaders that Mpalangwazi School has not closed and that classes will continue.

Village head Makwasa assured the education office that local leaders will help in identifying a person who set the fire.
Mpalangwazi is a full primary school but has no guard despite its status.

Both Mpalangwazi and St Pio Church belong to Mpiri Parish of the Mangochi Diocese.

Meanwhile Machinga Police has confirmed the incident -mana

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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