Hurray! I am HM after Bensouda’s forced retirement

Mwalimu Andrew

We then came back to the office and  the school rubberstamp was ceremoniously handed over to me.

Photo credit: Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • That evening, the Sub-county TSC director called to say I should be ready for handover the next morning. 
  • I reported to school early, but I did not give anyone any indication that there was something going to happen.

When we parted ways here last week, the Sub-county TSC director was trying hard to have Bensouda retire and pushing her to hand over the reins of power to me, but Bensouda could hear none of that. She said it was not yet time for her to retire, vowing she would rather die than hand over to me.

In between, I had to ensure that Alex and Kuya remained at each other’s neck. The two had to be busy fighting in order to give me ample time to plot how to take over from Bensouda, and secondly, they needed to be in such a fight so that when I am named HM, I would not recommend any of them to be deputy on the argument that they have low emotional intelligence.

Last Monday, I verbally asked Kuya to allow me to take one of his morning classes in exchange for an afternoon one. I then sent Alex a message saying I was feeling unwell and would report to school late. Alex went bonkers on finding Class Eight without a teacher. The next day, when the two asked me about the mess, I said I never discussed anything with Kuya, and produced the SMS I had sent Alex saying I would be late. 

Without any proof, Kuya could not convince anyone that I had asked we swap classes, especially since I had attended to my afternoon class. That earned Kuya a proper tongue-lashing from Alex.

“I know you are older than me, but authority is God-given, please respect it,” Alex told Kuya. “To be a good leader, you must accept to be led,” he said, quoting me in 2020.

That evening, the Sub-county TSC director called to say I should be ready for handover the next morning. 
I reported to school early, but I did not give anyone any indication that there was something going to happen.

I was busy in class when a car drove into the school compound. Alex, who was sitting in the HM’s office, welcomed the occupants. He did not know who they were.

When they asked to see me, he sent one of the students to call me. 

The director was quite surprised that I was in class, and happy to learn that I was operating from the staffroom while Kuya sat in the deputy’s office and  Alex at the HM’s office.

“We need more humble teachers like you. You are so down to earth and are not interested in power,” the Director said.

I agreed with her and told her my interest is always service to community.

She asked that we meet in the HM’s office. No sooner had Alex left than Bensouda started calling me incessantly. I did not need a calculator to know who had informed her of the development.

“Will we wait for Skastina before we start the handover?” I asked, finding it strange to call Bensouda her real name: Skastina.

“Don’t worry, no one owns any school. It is not a must for the outgoing HM to be present,” the Director said.

“What if she had died, would we remove her from the grave to come and hand over? No!” said the official accompanying the Director while laughing loudly at his inappropriate joke.

“This is not a hand-over, it is a take-over!”

The Director began the handover process, which started with checking the financial records. We had to break into one of the lockers that had the records. We took an inventory of the school property, which involved us walking around to assess the state of the classrooms, desks, field among others.

We then came back to the office and  the school rubberstamp was ceremoniously handed over to me.

“You are now the acting HM of this school,” announced the TSC Director . “You will be held responsible for everything, good or bad, happening in this school. Right?”

Once this was done, she asked that I call for a staff meeting.

“Dear teachers, as you are aware, Ms Skastina Majani retired on November 12. I am happy to introduce Mwalimu Andrew, who you all know and adore, as the acting HM,” said the director.

However, there was no response. 

“I thought you would all be clapping.

“I am told they all call him Dre, they are wondering who Mwalimu Andrew is,” said the official, laughing loudly. He added: “Some are jealous.”

Kuya asked if I had been appointed HM or acting HM.

“We have embarked on a process to appoint a headmaster, Andrew will only act as HM in the meantime,” said the director.

“I have one more question,” said Kuya just before the TSC official left. He looked disturbed.

“When will an acting Deputy HM be appointed?”

“That is a very good question,” she said. “As it stands, Mwalimu Andrew remains the Deputy HM of this school, but he is now acting as the HM. As such we will not appoint an acting HM. But Andrew is at liberty to appoint one of you in an acting capacity.”

We released the teachers and went back to the HM’s office.

“We hope that Bensouda will be available for change signatories of bank accounts, if she doesn’t we will instruct the bank to recognise you as a signatory.”

I spent the rest of the day in the HM’s office preparing my next move. 

Yesterday, Bensouda called me but I did not pick the calls. 

She sent me an SMS: ‘Congratulations on your meaningless appointment as Acting HM. Let us see how long you will last. TSC ni ile ile! A scam!”

I thanked her for the advice and asked her when she would be available to change bank signatories.

“You took over the school without me, go ahead and take over the bank accounts as well!”  

Looks like my transition will not be smooth, but I will manage.

In the meantime, any suggestions on whom I should appoint as an acting deputy? Excluding Kuya!

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