BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
A CHIKOMBA acting headmaster died after hanging himself with a belt a few hours before the school held its annual general meeting (AGM).
Irvine Manjengwa, the acting headmaster at Masvaure Primary School, was found dead in his house last week after attending a heated schools development committee (SDC) meeting in preparation for an annual general meeting scheduled to be held on the day he committed suicide.
Efforts to get a comment from Mashonaland East provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tendai Mwanza were fruitless as he was reportedly said to be out of office.
In a statement, Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) provincial co-ordinator Tapiwa Chengeta confirmed Manjengwa’s death, urging the government to improve the welfare of teachers to avoid stress-related deaths.
“As PTUZ, we learnt with deep sorrow the death of the acting headmaster for Masvaure Primary School in Chikomba — Mr Manjengwa. Young and energetic as he was, the nation has lost a real future leader. It is even more painful that the suicide is coming at a time life is so difficult for teachers due to low salaries. Depression and stress is contributing to the shortening of lifespan for many in the profession due to challenging economic hardships,” he said.
NewsDay is reliably informed that Manjengwa was stressed after the SDC meeting, with reports that his relationship with parents had gone sour over maladministration.
His death follows another incident at Simukai Primary School in the same district recently, where parents withdrew their children from the institution accusing the head of arrogance as well as maladministration.