A Maun schoolboy has been forced to drop out because his mother will not enrol him in a public school while his father won’t pay private school fees.
The 8-year- old boy who dropped out of standard four has been staying home with his allegedly mentally ill mother since January when his father stopped paying his fees.
This year he attended school for only two days in January at Botlhale International School in Gaborone before his mother, Mercy Dimbungu broke up with his father, Mokwadi Motlhako, and relocated to Maun.
42 -year- old Dimbungu, a former teacher was relieved of her duties in 2009 allegedly because of her mental illness.
Asked why her son was not in school, Dimbungu who dismissed allegations that she was mentally ill as malicious rumous spread by miuschious family members vowed never to let her son set foot in a government school as long as the boy’s father was alive and gainfully employed.
“After losing my job my family members asked me to relocate back home to Maun because I had no place to stay in Gaborone. That was after the father of my child had chased me away from his house but still wanted to stay with our child.”
Instead of leaving the child with his father Dimbungu took him with her to Maun arguing that if Motlhako wanted him to study in Gaborone, he would have been prepared to take both of them back into his house because she was not going to be separated from her boy, let alone have him raised by a step mother.
“Motlhako must know that it is either he enrols our boy in a Maun English Medium School or he takes both of us to Gaborone because I cannot allow any other woman to take care of my child,” she said
The estranged father however dismissed Dimbungu’s demands as a ploy to get back with him.
“Given the circumstances I have no choice but to let the child suffer because my religion does not allow me to stay with a woman out of wedlock and I have no intentions to marry that woman.
“ I have told her several times that I want my child back but not her. I have also made it clear to her that if she doesn’t let that child come and live with me, she wont get any financial help from me. I will not be the first man to abandon his own child,” he said adding that he was however still in the process of adopting his own child legally.
Meanwhile the Maun Administration Authority Social Welfare Officer Maipelo Tabona said that they were working on the case to see how best they can assist the child.
“We are working on the matter but I cannot disclose the details to the media,” she said