By Gibson Mhaka
The headmaster of Sojini High School in Mbembesi, Matabeleland North is at the centre of an abuse storm following accusations that he is allegedly “bullying” and publicly dressing down teachers while accusing them of being useless.
The head, Themba Nyoni, is reported to have fallen out with some of his subordinates, because they are allegedly refusing to bow down to his draconian rules.
According to teachers at the school who spoke to B-Metro in separate interviews, so tense is the situation that it was now affecting the day-to-day running of the school.
“The headmaster is making teachers’ lives at the school difficult. He is always bullying them. Female teachers are the ones who are mostly on the receiving end as they are always being dressed down in front of their male counterparts especially during staff meetings.
“He deprives teachers their special leave days and holds grudges against those that do not subscribe to his harsh orders.
“The head also denies teachers their rights to transfer as he refuses to recommend their transfer requests. Teacher representatives are appointed by him which in turn becomes a problem as the representatives pay a blind eye and deaf ear to teachers’ concerns,” said a teacher who spoke on condition of anonymity citing victimisation.
Another teacher also complained saying the headmaster doesn’t want to be questioned whenever he is addressing them.
“When addressing us he doesn’t want to be questioned. Teachers are also not allowed to attend funerals, even of their immediate relatives. Posts at the school are reserved to those that spy others to him,” the teacher complained.
A parent who spoke to B-Metro also accused the headmaster of abuse saying he was running the school as a “rehabilitation centre”.
“As parents we have also received reports that the headmaster is always harassing teachers and that is affecting the performance of teachers. There are also reports of security laxity at the school where some girls sneak out at night to meet their lovers, mostly gold panners.
“The situation is made worse since the girls’ cottages do not have electricity and there is also no perimeter fence making it easy for them to slip away,” a disgruntled parent said.
In 2015 about 11 students at the school aged between 12 and 20 dropped out of school due to pregnancies.
The parent further said the head also victimises children of those parents he holds grudges against and punished them by refusing to get them into better classes though they qualified as per screening.
Contacted for comment Nyoni however, refuted the allegations and called them “baseless”.
“All the allegations being levelled against are not true. On the issue that I refuse to recommend teachers’ transfer requests, so if 20 teachers bring their transfer letters as a head of the school you cannot just recommend because there will be no one left at the school.
“Coming to the issue of special leave days and attending funerals I just told them if one wants to absent himself or herself from work they should write a letter for permission in which they will also state reasons to be absent from work,” said Nyoni. B-Metro