Friday, 12 November 2021

ANGLICAN CHURCH FIRES SCHOOL HEADMASTER, DEPUTY

THE Anglican Diocese of Manicaland has wielded the axe and fired St Faith’s High School headmaster and his deputy on allegations of abuse of office, The Manica Post can reveal.

However, the two believe they were being targeted for allegedly mobilising the local community against the intended privatisation of the school.

Messrs Anold Makamba and his deputy Irvine Mudangwe are reportedly considering taking the legal route to stop their transfer from the school.

The Manica Post can reveal that the diocese on October 28, 2021, petitioned Manicaland Provincial Education Director (PED), Mr Edward Shumba to redeploy the two on allegations of abuse of office.

They allegedly withdrew various amounts from the school account without supporting documents, double-dipping and concealing their financial interest in the school.

The allegations stem from an internal audit instituted between May 31 and June 5, 2021.

But the two administrators believe they were being victimised for allegedly inciting the local community against the intended privatisation of the school.

The diocese recently embarked on a chaotic consultative meeting as the Madetere community, leadership, church members, teachers and non-teaching staff vehemently opposed the move.

The meeting was highly charged and laced with character assassination as well as finger-pointing.

“As the responsible authority running St Faith’s High, we called for an internal audit to be undertaken from May 31 to June 5, 2021. The audit report showed the following: various payments (totalling $35 964.73) were made to him (Mr Makamba), and some of the payments had no supporting documents.

“In addition, on April 12 to 16, 2021, a payment was inconsistently made to the headmaster, amounting to the sum of $12 660 through Voucher Number 45/21/7. The payment was effected from the school’s account and this was a clear case of double dipping. As a result, we are unable to continue with Mr A Makamba as head of the school, and we request you to redeploy the same forthwith to safeguard our institution,” reads part of the letter to Mr Shumba written by the Diocesan secretary for education, Reverend Alex Chikomba.

“Mr Mudangwe is a major supplier, together with his family, to the school, and this was not disclosed. Various payments were made to him (totalling $25 813) . . . and some of the payments had no supporting documents. This is a clear case of abuse of office, as the deputy head is the chairperson of the procurement committee. As a result, we are unable to continue with Mr I Mudangwe as deputy head of the school, and we request you to redeploy same forthwith to safeguard our institution,” wrote Reverend Chikomba.

Though Mr Makamba refused to comment, Mr Mudangwe said the diocese was targeting them for not supporting its privatisation agenda.

“On being a major supplier, the correct position is that the school has been dealing with Savco, where people in the school supplied the company their products. When Savco left in March, we continued supplying the school, indexing the prices with those at Mbare.

“I am also a local guy, and my mother is a cattle breeder, and she sold two beasts to the school, and the funds were paid through my bank account since she does not have one in her name.

“If they no longer need a person at their school, that is what they do, and one cannot fight them. The head was told that him and I have to be redeployed because we do not support the privatisation of the school. The head went to Mutare last week, and was told that the allegations were a smock-screen, but the real issue was that we are perceived to have influenced the community to resist the privatisation, and on Monday, the principal repeated the same statement,” said Mr Mudangwe.

Anglican Diocese of Manicaland’s Registrar, Mr Ashel Mutungura, said the heads and deputies at their schools serve at the pleasure of the bishop who approves such appointments to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.

“When any head, deputy or teacher has issues inconsistent with the values and objectives of the church, recommendations are made to his or her employer to be transferred to any other school and not fired. The bishop does not hold power or authority to fire heads and deputies. These are civil servants whose disciplinary process is done at the pleasure of their employer. There is no truth that the bishop has fired anyone.

“The issue at hand is the audit report and its outcome. The church has recommended the enlisting of law enforcement agencies to deal with the issues of abuse of office in its schools as there is zero tolerance to such conduct by its trusted lieutenants.

“The other assumption or casting of aspersions on the Lord Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Manicaland must be dismissed with the contempt it deserves. The head, his deputy and their families had become the major suppliers of provisions at the school without declaring their interest, and charging higher prices. The church will not fold its hands and allow such things to happen. That is the reason recommendations of their redeployment by their employer became necessary. The head has another issue of double dipping. He was paid allowances and fuel by the church to attend a workshop, but proceeded to claim the same from the school,” he said.

Mr Mutungura said Anglican schools were private entities run with Government’s support through payment of teachers’ salaries.

He said they were merely changing the model of operation to pay teachers at certain schools.

“All teachers not interested will be transferred to Government schools. There is nothing that is changing. These schools remain mission schools owned by the church and run in terms of the Education Act, and various by-laws,” he said. Manica Post

 

 

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