Zimbabwe Teachers Beat Headmaster Over Incentives

The teachersTennyson Nhongo (50), Passable Mushayi (34) and Rolland Mahuni (27) from Nkululeko high school appeared before Gweru magistrate Meo Rubwe facing charges of assaulting the school head Allan Benson for not giving them their incentives.

The three were not asked to plead to the charges but were remanded out of custody to 27 July.

The prosecutor, Michael Mhene, told the court that on the night of 27 March, the three teachers went to Benson’s residence and accused him of refusing to pay their incentives. Mhene said the trio found the
headmaster’s wife and threatened to beat her up for allegedly conniving with her husband to divert their incentives to their own use.

The court heard that while they were at the house,  Benson arrived from Gweru driving a school truck. Mhene said the three men confronted the school head demanding their incentives. Mhene said when  Benson tried to give an explanation, the three men allegedly started beating him.The court heard that  the school security guards came to the headmaster’s rescue.

The policy of incentives was introduced to try and cushion teachers against the meager salaries of between US$ 160 and US$250, they were currently receiving from government.

Teachers who earn below the poverty Datum Line of about US$ 480, have pleaded with the government to increase their salaries to no avail.

The introduction of incentives has caused problems of its own in the education sector with some schools demanding more and more from parents. The ministry of Education has left it to the teachers and parents to discuss the amount of the incentives.

Rural schools have also been negatively impacted as senior teachers prefer to move to urban schools as some rural parents fail to give the teachers the incentives.