Dust kicked up over suspended teachers

SPEAKER of the House of Representatives Zubeir Ali Maulid joined backbenchers in the House, demanding justice to teachers whom the government suspended over examination leakage about two years ago.

During the 2018 Form Two National Examinations, some teachers were implicated in leaking the papers, subjecting the government to huge costs of exam cancellation and rewriting.

The government acted tough against the suspected educators, suspending them from jobs and instituting disciplinary charges against them.

Debating the Education and Vocational Training Ministry’s 2020/2021 budget estimates, a number of representatives, including Paje and Mpendae’s Jaku Hashium Ayoub and Mohamed Said Mohamed, respectively, accused the government of tormenting the civil servants, arguing that it was against the law and regulations to suspend them for about two years.

They said the law provides for six months of investigations and if no offences are proved, they have to be reinstated.

But, Education Minister Riziki Pembe Juma defended the government, saying the police were still investigating the suspects and once the probe is completed, they will be either cleared of the charges or arraigned.

The legislators however maintained that investigations beyond the legally provided six months amounted to injustice, demanding their restorations.

“These teachers have families to take care of...you are merely subjecting their children to undue anguish,” charged Mr Mohammed.

However, Attorney General (AG) Said Hassan Said intervened, arguing that there was nothing the government could do without the probe report.

He said even if the estranged teachers have to wait for years, their rights remain intact.

“The law is clear; even if investigations take years, if they are cleared of their charges, they will receive their salary arrears. But, the government cannot make any decision right now without any supportive documents,” charged the AG.

The AG’s statement provoked the House Speaker, Mr Maulid, who asked the government to handle the case of “these hapless” teachers justly.

He said it was unacceptable for teachers to suffer unnecessarily due to laxity by some government executives. He asked the government to resolve the issue immediately.

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