By Anna Shilongo WINDHOEK Allegations have been made against the headmaster of Theo Katjimune Primary School in Katutura, ranging from general dissatisfaction with his alleged autocratic style of leadership to his failure to conduct classes. The allegations were made by some of his staff who are disgruntled with his style of management. At the centre of the wide-ranging allegations is Chanville Mackrill. "As a principal, he was also supposed to teach like any other teachers. He appears on the time-table but he never pitches up for any lesson up to now. He is supposed to teach religion as a subject, but he fails to do so," said a concerned staff member that requested anonymity. The staff member alleged the principal has been threatening teachers and does not tolerate being questioned by his juniors about some of his actions. It is also alleged that on several occasions, the headmaster apparently 'forced' a woman responsible for issuing cheques at the school to sign blank cheques. "At the moment there is a fight between the teachers who are members of TUN and NANTU, just because he belongs to the TUN," said a concerned teacher. The school has two secretaries, but according to the source, only one of the secretaries is used while the other is being overlooked. "He only favours one secretary, the one who looks like him. This secretary is handling all the school's finances and so on, forgetting about the other secretary," added the source. Meanwhile, the school had a security guard all along but who has since disappeared. The guard used to earn N$914 per month from the school's coffers, but when Mackrill came to the school in 2005, his contract was terminated with no satisfactory explanation. It is alleged he gave to job of guarding the school to his friends' security company that is now being paid N$1 300. "One wonders when you compare N$914 to N$1300 and for the past six months the school has been paying that amount but there was no security," complained a teacher It is alleged that the new guard has not been coming to work for the past six months, yet the school continues to pay N$1300 for this service. "This was proven by a cleaner who resides on the school premises as well as other members who have been monitoring the situation," claimed the source. Recently, Theo Katjimune School was broken into, losing a substantial amount of money. "When he was questioned by the media if the school had any security guard, the principal said there was no security guard, as the school could not afford one. But yet there was an amount of N$ 1300 paid to that non-existing guard. He just contradicted himself," said the source. In terms of rules, the school is not supposed to keep money exceeding N$300 on the premises but the school money that was stolen (N$80 000) had not been banked for three days. "What was the reason behind that?" asked the concerned member. Thieves apparently entered through the roof and drilled through the wall to access the cupboard in which the money was kept. "He told the teachers that he was at school till 22h30 that evening, holding a meeting with the church which is renting the school hall, couldn't he hear the thieves breaking in? And why didn't he want anybody to speak to the media, is he hiding something that we don't know?" the source asked. The principal denied the allegations, saying that there is no truth in the claims. "These are very strong allegations, and if one comes across them one needs to be careful. I can assure you that these allegations are posed by a person who wants to assassinate me," claimed the principal. In the meantime, he said, he will not respond to all allegations now because he needs to sit with his management. "I don't use an autocratic leadership style. I am a democratic leader. All our success and decisions are participatory decisions, collective leadership; I fail to understand why they are accusing me. After all, I have brought light in this school, this school was running in debt," he said. "I renovated the school, I rescued it from its debts. And yet they still accuse me." Asked why he terminated the security's contract, Mackrill said he was ineffective and was never on time and that this was done to improve the school's finances as it was in debt. "A security company offered us a guard for six months, with no charges involved. All we were supposed to do is to buy him food. We took up the offer and after a year he started charging us N$1 600 for his services. What could we do especially when he offered his services for free. We had no choice but to take him," explained Mackrill.
2008-01-25 00:00:00 10 years ago