Riverside headmaster in hot soup… Death threats for workers, $15 000 bribe for auditors

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Shakespeare Muzavazi

It never rains but it pours for Gweru Riverside Primary School members of staff who have come out guns blazing attacking the primary school’s headmaster accusing him of massive corruption and threatening them with death when they demand their unpaid salaries.

Scores of parents and school staff who visited this reporter on Tuesday chronicled how Mr Willie Mtombeni the incumbent headmaster has been threatening workers with death for demanding salaries, his unbridled avarice and corruption.

“The headmaster is threatening us with death when we demand our salaries, all the general hands at the school are now languishing in abject poverty, we last received our salaries in June and we have been living off debts at the mercy of good Samaritans from around the School.

“We are now living in fear since the Headmaster openly claimed that he is the one responsible for the death of Mrs Caroline Gapare a senior female teacher at the school, after she had demanded her Incentive,” said a worker who preferred anonymity for the fear of victimization.

Another anonymous worker said they tried to take their plight to the responsible authorities but to no avail since Mtombeni is alleged to bribe the higher authorities for protection.

“We have reported the abuses to the Provincial Education Director Mrs Agnes Gudo but no action has been taken so far, in utter desperation we directed our grievances to the labour offices where Mr Gobvu could not offer any pinch of solace.

“After all these fruitless efforts the headmaster continues to boast that his good relations with the Central Intelligence organization,” said the worker trembling.

Mrs Gloria Masimba a parent to a pupil at Riverside Primary School divulged that Mr Mtombeni is a well-known conman, as he once bribed external auditors from Harare to cover up his misappropriation of funds.

“The 2014 SDA Chairperson of the primary School Mr Augustine Deke voluntarily resigned from his post after realising that he was facing greater risk of being arrested after Mtombeni  bribed external Auditors from Harare with US $15 000.

“It is alleged that Deke tried to admonish him from misappropriating school funds but the SDA chairperson was told to back off leading to his voluntary resignation leaving Mtombeni to plunder the school’s funds in peace,” Gloria said.

The parents and workers want the Headmaster sacked for his unruly and bullish behaviour so that sanity might be restored at the already crumbling school.

When reached for comment the school head Mtombeni was evasive on the issue of death threats as he could neither confirm nor deny the allegations levelled against him.

Commenting on the issue of salaries Mtombeni said the school is bankrupt hence there is no money to pay the languishing workers.

“All these allegations are rising from the workers who have not been paid; it is not of our own making that they did not get their salaries on time but the school coffers are empty,” he said.