January 18, 2022

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With Trusted Zimbabwe News as well as Local and Regional Perspectives.

Review Of the Tea-pot Lid Story


CORRECTION: Leopard Rock Expels 15 Attached Students for Dishonesty
On 23 August 2021, this reporter wrote a story with the headline

“15 attachees fired over broken tea-pot cover”.

In the story, this reporter stated that the fifteen tourism and hospitality attachees who were doing their work-related learning at Leopard Rock Hotel, in Mutare, had been given marching orders over a broken tea-pot cover which the writer viewed as a “trivial” incident..

In reality, the students were expelled for dishonesty after the fact. The student who was responsible for the breakage failed to enter the breakage into the breakages book and the matter only came to light after the proprietor, Mr Samir Shasha discovered the breakage himself. Upon being asked to come forward the responsible student chose not to. The student and the rest of the group were given over 24 hours to rectify their oversight but chose not to as part of group decision, leading to their expulsion .

While this report was made in good faith and not meant to prejudice anyone or imply Mr Shasha lacked empathy, it may be read to imply exactly that. The unintended consequences of the story and impugning of Mr Shasha’s character is sincerely regretted. The writer presumed the story to have been based on facts which turned out to have been erroneously understood.

We are satisfied that Mr. Shasha was trying to inculcate a culture of honesty and accountability, which are invaluable attributes for the students to be successful in the hospitality industry.

In his unpublished comments, Mr. Shasha said, “Nothing would have happened to a person who accidentally breaks something except a stern rebuke on due care,” and emphasized that the hotel could not tolerate a cover-up culture.

“When there is a simple signup for breakages and chips, not coming forward and not being pushed to come forward is tantamount to theft and vandalism” he noted.

The story was initially published by this paper before it was republished by other online newspapers such as New.Zimbawe.com, iHarare.com and mesh.co.zw further spreading the unintended damage to the character of Mr Shasha.