TEACHERS at property magnate Phillip Chiyangwa’s elite school in Bluff Hill, Harare, Divaris Makaharis, have downed their chalks to protest the non-payment of salaries for the past six months, it has been established.
BY PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI
The teachers, who requested anonymity fearing victimisation, told NewsDay that their employer had been giving them lame excuses for too long and they could not take it anymore. They spent the last two days idling in the staff room while pupils were unattended in the classrooms.
Chiyangwa’s daughter Vanessa — who is part of the administration – yesterday addressed the aggrieved teachers, but proffered no solution.
“She didn’t give any commitment or assurance,” said a teacher at the school. “We are not going to work until our grievances have been addressed.”
The school’s chief executive officer John Munjilo and head of the senior school, Shungu Mushayakarara, were yesterday said to be away.
Another teacher confirmed that they had not been paid since July last year and accused Chiyangwa of being heartless.
“He doesn’t have the human resources at his school at heart,” he said. “We think it is time now for the world to know exactly what’s happening here.”
NewsDay also learnt that after the teachers first threatened to embark on industrial action in January this year, Chiyangwa offered them residential stands at Stoneridge in Waterfalls. The teachers, however, turned down the offer after realising that the stands were not serviced as well as being contested as they are part of his divorce proceedings.
“The unfortunate thing is that some of the stands are currently in dispute because they are part of his divorce case,” said the source. “There was also no agreement of sale as the stands belong to Pinnacle Property Holdings.”
Chiyangwa, however, said he owed none of the teachers any money and said even records at the school would prove that their salaries were up-to-date.
“They took advance salaries in January to cover for February and March. I even warned them that this was going to be problematic,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that when they have issues they always run to newspapers so that they can put me under pressure.”
Chiyangwa, who was out of town, said he was prepared to show this reporter all the salary records to demonstrate that none of the teachers was owed any money.