Headmaster, wife demand $145,000 from school

Headmaster, wife demand $145,000 from school
Published: 23 February 2018 (405 Views)
HIGHVELD Primary - a private trust school in Rusape - faces imminent collapse as its grapples with salary arrears of over $600 000 - and the head, who is embroiled in a nasty fight with the board of governors and his wife are jointly suing it for $145 224, 07.

Mr Charles Kazembe, who was employed as headmaster in 2004, was last week suspended for incompetence and disobeying lawful orders and has engaged Tavenhave and Machingauta Legal Practitioners to fight the move. Board chairperson, Dr Dunmore Kusano was recently toppled in a boardroom coup and replaced by his deputy Mr Clemence Muhle.

The power struggles, non-payment of salaries and gross violation of corporate governance ethos led to the suspension of Highveld from the Association of Trust Schools (ATS). In a case of sour relations, Mr Kazembe and his wife Zodwa, who teaches at the school have approached the court demanding $112 883, 43 and $32 340, 64, respectively in salary arrears and benefits as provided for in their contracts of employment.

A contract signed on March 31, 2014 stipulates that Mr Kazembe is entitled to getting a basic salary of $2 800 plus perks such as annual bonus, medical aid, company vehicle and fuel, monthly allowance of 50 litres of fuel, domestic worker costs cover, cell phone, telephone water and electricity bills paid for, a responsibility allowance of 15 percent of salary, and tuition for his child, among others.

Highveld has only 76 students.  Day students pay $500 while boarders pay $1 500 per term. It has a staff complement of 30, with the least paid worker earning $300, making its wage bill unsustainable.

"The first and second claimants' prayer is for payment of $12 883, 43 and 32 340, 64 respectively. Thus the total due from the respondent is $145 224, 07," reads the statement of claim.

The new board is trying to wring contractual changes citing viability, but this was being resisted by some employees allegedly fighting in Mr Kazembe's corner. The board suspended Mr Kazembe without pay on February 14, 2018.

"You have failed to run the school as reflected by the management letter from the auditors (b) you also acted outside the school constitution and acted without the backing of board resolutions (in) setting up the secondary school, unauthorised disbursements, segregatory disbursements to staff, unauthorised borrowing," reads the letter signed by Mr Muhle.

Mr Kazembe is also accused of disobeying lawful instructions.

"You refused to sign for a warning letter (b) having been requested to go on leave since you have accrued more than 90 days you refused to sign the instruction letter to go on leave and have still not gone on leave".

On February 19, 2018 Mr Kazembe's lawyers dismissed the allegations as vague and unelaborated. They said allegations of incompetence cannot arise when no appraisals were done on the head's performance.

They further argued that no disciplinary hearing was conducted on Mr Kazembe and wondered where the allegations of "disobeying lawful orders were emanating from".

As the drama escalated, the ATS responded by suspending the school. ATS executive director, only identified as Mr T.D Middleton said wrote to the school on February 6, 2018: "ATS resolved to suspend the membership of Highveld Primary School with immediate effect on the grounds that the school has failed to honour commitment to ethical governance. This follows several and considerable efforts by the ATS to help the school and the board to get back on track. . .  yet no attempt by the board has been seen to stand by the requirements of ATS.

". . . for a long time there were only three board members, no new board members have been appointed in the last five years, some chairs have been self-appointed and had outstanding school fees, no AGMs had been held, there has been no communication or transparency or audits since 2007, salaries were often not paid, changes were made to contracts and salaries without consent, no board of governors workshop has taken place despite calls by ATS to do so," reads part of the letter.

"However, it has been noted that the board chair had now been fired at an unconstitutionally called meeting. . .  and no address for the new board chair has been given. It has been communicated that board members have become signatories of the school account instead of the head and bursar.

I must advise you therefore that unless steps are taken quickly by the board of governors to address these issues and fall into line with accepted criteria for membership of ATS, the executive committee will move to withdraw Highveld Primary School membership from ATS at their next meeting next term".

- manicapost

 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Mnangagwa dismisses Chamisa's irritating noise

by newzimbabwe | 14 December 2018 | 67 Views

Chiwenga endorses Mnangagwa for 2023

by Staff reporter | 14 December 2018 | 60 Views

Where is Mohadi?

by ZimLive | 14 December 2018 | 77 Views

Government to solve shortage of medicine

by Mandla Ndlovu | 14 December 2018 | 90 Views

Mnangagwa's 'arrest and release on bail' program exposed

by Mandla Ndlovu | 14 December 2018 | 91 Views

Mutodi speaks on $500 000 'bribe' report

by Mandla Ndlovu | 14 December 2018 | 103 Views

Lumumba undresses Fadzayi Mahere

by Mandla Ndlovu | 14 December 2018 | 125 Views

School uniforms demo set for 18 December

by Mandla Ndlovu | 14 December 2018 | 87 Views

VP Chiwenga pours cold water on Presidential ambitions

by Mandla Ndlovu | 14 December 2018 | 131 Views

Mutsvangwa snubs ZANU PF Conference?

by Mandla Ndlovu | 14 December 2018 | 152 Views

Chamisa will eventually accept position

by Simba Rushwaya | 14 December 2018 | 169 Views

Tendai Biti relives court horror

by Mandla Ndlovu | 14 December 2018 | 132 Views

Mnangagwa speaks on Chivayo saga

by Mandla Ndlovu | 14 December 2018 | 141 Views

Motlanthe Commission report to be made public next week

by Mandla Ndlovu | 14 December 2018 | 115 Views

US. launches 'Prosper Africa' initiative to counter China's influence

by Staff reporter | 14 December 2018 | 124 Views

Dzamara and Linda Masarira clash

by Mandla Ndlovu | 14 December 2018 | 126 Views

WATCH: Live ZANU PF Conference

by Mandla Ndlovu | 14 December 2018 | 123 Views

Mphoko's son to spend Christmas in jail

by newzimbabwe | 14 December 2018 | 124 Views

Wise is he who looks ahead

by Mapozho Saruchera | 14 December 2018 | 104 Views

Behind the walls of MDC-ZANU PF negotiations

by Mmatigari | 14 December 2018 | 162 Views

MDC tripping itself

by Bevan Musoko | 14 December 2018 | 111 Views

PHOTOS: Choppies workers demonstrate

by Mandla Ndlovu | 14 December 2018 | 105 Views

ZANU PF conference, a necessary event

by Peacemaker Zano | 14 December 2018 | 90 Views

Lest we forget, soccer legends told

by Stanley Chirimbani and Richard Zimunya | 14 December 2018 | 93 Views

Temba Mliswa attends ZANU PF Conference

by Mandla Ndlovu | 14 December 2018 | 102 Views

Buyanga wants Zimbabwe in United Nations Security Council

by Staff reporter | 14 December 2018 | 118 Views

Zanu-PF urged to focus on fixing economic challenges

by Staff reporter | 14 December 2018 | 113 Views

Patient steals from nurse

by Staff reporter | 14 December 2018 | 145 Views

Banking sector posts 77% profit jump

by Staff reporter | 14 December 2018 | 113 Views

Wicknell Chivayo 'overpaid' in $5million Gwanda project

by Staff reporter | 14 December 2018 | 108 Views

'Zifa machinations' - Gift Banda arrested for 'corruption'

by Staff reporter | 14 December 2018 | 109 Views

Mphoko's son trial postponed

by Staff reporter | 14 December 2018 | 120 Views

Police probe Nkulumane carjack and robbery

by Staff reporter | 14 December 2018 | 104 Views

Suicide man announces imminent death

by Staff reporter | 14 December 2018 | 119 Views

Woman's maintenance claim thrown out

by Staff reporter | 14 December 2018 | 98 Views