School dropouts are a persistent national problem in Zimbabwe. The study aims to investigate the causes and patterns of secondary school dropouts in Masvingo district and recommend solutions. The research is justified because dropouts represent undesirable wastage and measure of the internal efficiency of the the education system in which both parents and government make significant investment. Government has since independence expanded the secondary school sector to increase access to education and eradicate gender inequalities. The descriptive survey research design was preferred and the questionnaire was a key instrument used to collect data from a sample of secondary school heads selected according to location, responsible authority and school category. Findings show that inability to pay fees due to poverty and low income ranked first as the main cause of dropouts followed by pregnancies and indiscipline. More girls than boys dropped out between 1993-1995 historically. Financial assistance and advocacy were identified as possible solutions to mitigate the problem.