Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper says authorities have temporarily closed a school where at least 53 students were sexually abused.

The Herald reports that five suspects, including a teacher and a caretaker, carried out the abuse at the school in the southeastern town of Macheke.

The paper says 16 girls were repeatedly abused by one person and infected with sexually transmitted diseases.

The Herald quotes Zimbabwean Education Minister Aeneas Chigwedere as saying the school closed a week early and all staff were transferred immediately.

It says the school will re-open on September 1 under a new administration.