DEO, HR officer suspended over teachers scandal


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ZIMBABWE – Chimanimani district education officer (DEO) and a human resources officer have been suspended following allegations of irregular teachers’ recruitment and promotion that were recently unearthed by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.

DEO Mr Trust Jaibes and human resources officer Mr Joseph Nyakatsapa were suspended after the provincial headquarters in Mutare received various reports of irregular recruitment and promotion of teachers and other staff.

The Herald is reliably informed that the disciplinary hearings in respect of the two have since commenced in Chimanimani.

The scandal has been unearthed at a time the nation is still waiting for the outcome of the staff audit by Government to weed out ghost workers.

In an interview, Manicaland provincial education director Mr Edward Shumba confirmed the suspension of the two saying his office had received at least 68 cases of irregular recruitment and promotion of staff.

“I confirm that the DEO for Chimanimani Mr Jaibes and his human resources officer Mr Nyakatsapa have been suspended for flouting employment procedure.

“We received information that Mr Nyakatsapa was single-handedly recruiting teachers without following the proper procedure.

“The DEO, being the overall in-charge in the district, faces charges of failure to supervise his staff because all the irregularities happened under his nose,” he said.

Mr Shumba said Mr Nyakatsapa would hide the vacancies in the district and make the appointments without consulting the employment committee.

“Employment has certain procedures. A committee sits down whenever posts arise and, make a declaration to that effect. The same committee will then appoint the qualified persons to fill the vacant posts.

“But Nyakatsapa would hide the posts from the committee and appoint some people without the authority of the committee,” said Mr Shumba.

Mutare-based lawyer Mr Chris Ndlovu, who is representing Mr Nyakatsapa said the hearing had since started.

“I can confirm that I am representing Mr Nyakatsapa in the matter and that the hearing has since started at Chimanimani district offices.

“Since the matter is still pending, I cannot say much but only to confirm that Mr Nyakatsapa is currently on suspension and that he is facing several charges, chief among them, being accused of irregular recruitment and promotion of staff,” he said.

Sources told The Herald that the Public Service Commission appointed a relief teacher at Marirwe Primary School to replace a substantive one who was on maternity leave, but without approval from the relevant authorities.

Mr Nyakatsapa reportedly employed him permanently.

That resulted in over-staffing at the school when the other teacher returned from maternity leave.

Last term, two teachers were transferred from Muchadziya Primary School to Mashonjowa Primary School without the approval of the authorities and the decision was later reversed.

Another teacher was irregularly appointed at Mutambara Secondary School resulting in over-staffing at the school.

The Herald also heard that last term, a relief teacher received a salary at Vhimba Primary School without even setting foot at the school but later paid back the money to Government after realising that the recruiting officers were now under investigation.

Mr Shumba said the common charges facing most teachers and other education staffers in Manicaland were improper associations (dating pupils), incompetent or negligent performance of duty and failure to supervise.

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