KWEKWE — Angry parents stormed Emthonjeni Government Primary School yesterday baying for the headmaster’s blood following reports that teachers had stopped attending classes in protest over unpaid incentives.
The parents also demanded to meet the headmaster and members of the School Development Association (SDA) to answer to allegations of fraud and mismanagement.
Police had to be called in to disperse the parents after the school’s deputy head Julian Murisa refused to speak to them and instead locked herself in her office.
Parents who spoke to NewsDay said they were angered by the sit-in.
The teachers were allegedly demanding incentives of up to $150 per month.
A parent, Mavis Muronda said: “Our children have not been attending lessons because teachers are now sitting-in demanding that their incentives be paid. We have been trying to meet the headmaster and the SDA committee, but they have been refusing.”
Parents accused the SDA committee of abusing school funds and refusing to produce audited financial statements at annual general meetings.
Murisa, who was at one time the acting headmistress, was suspended from duty in August last year after a government audit accused her of failing to execute her duties and plundering of school resources.
According to the audit report, Murisa allegedly withdrew thousands of dollars through the SDA chaired by Siran Chishanu reportedly to pay teachers’ incentives, but the money never reached the intended beneficiaries.
“Of $83 608 noted cash withdrawn in 2011 and 2012 towards payment of teacher incentives, about $23 912 does not appear in the availed teachers’ incentive acquittal register as having so paid out,” reads part of the report.
Teachers who spoke to NewsDay denied having staged a sit-in, but said they were not getting their incentives and that the SDA had refused to meet with them to discuss the issues. Murisa barred the SDA vice-chairperson, only identified as Marima from speaking to the Press saying nobody could touch her or talk about the state of the school without her permission.
“I am the head of this school and you can’t talk to the SDA. I have barred them from speaking to you,” she said, interrupting Marima as he was about to address the media. Parents vowed not to bring their children to school today if the impasse at the school was not resolved.