MWALIMU ANDREW: With Sande’s return, I could be headed back to Mwisho

Saturday February 27 2016

As you already know, I found myself at Daraja

As you already know, I found myself at Daraja Mbili after their former head, Mr Sande, was interdicted over accusations of Carnal Knowledge (CK) with a Form Two student. ILLUSTRATION| JOHN NYAGAH 

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As you already know, I found myself at Daraja Mbili after their former head, Mr Sande, was interdicted over accusations of Carnal Knowledge (CK) with a Form Two student.

Mr Sande was actually not the head but the senior most teacher here. And although I was a deputy back at Mwisho wa Lami, I was not posted as the Headmaster or Deputy, but the senior most teacher. That is why I call myself the Dean.

From what I gathered, Mr Sande was a much loved teacher around. Students and teachers liked him so much and cases of school girls fighting over him were not uncommon. The parents, however, did not like him much.

When I say that the parents did not like him, I mean the PTA chairman, Tocla. Tocla did not like him at all, and sources closer to the source say that their differences started after Mr Sande was accused of looking at Tocla’s wife longer than any decent man

should look at someone else’s wife.

By last week, I was still trying to adjust to this new school. Last Wednesday, I arrived at school on time, and went to class. Wednesday is the day I find time to teach, and as you can guess, I never follow any timetable when I am teaching.

I always ignore any teacher whose lesson is next and continue teaching as if I own the world.

Only Madam Electina has been able to insist on coming in, reminding me that it was her lesson. “You are free to take any of my lessons,” I remember telling her the day she confronted me.

“Who said I am free during your lessons?” she told me.

Since my teaching consists of telling stories to take the message home, the students openly expressed their interest that I continue being in class, instead of Electina’s boring math lesson. I totally ignored her, and after a few minutes of waiting at the door, she

went back to the staffroom,

So last Wednesday when Electina came to knock at the door while I was totally engrossed on imparting knowledge, I ignored her, until she knocked harder. I went to her and reminded her that I was in a school classroom, not a market.

“You can teach later on,” I told her angrily.


“You have a guest,” she said, “and he wants to see you right away,” she added, then started walking back to the staffroom. I followed her closely, but keeping a reasonable distance so as not to deny my eyes the great view they were enjoying.

I arrived in the staffroom to find a smartly dressed man seated and reading some old newspapers.

He was also talking to other teachers, who seemed to enjoy his company as if he was the Prodigal son that had just returned. The teachers seemed to be excited to have him around and even students came to the staffroom to greet him.

“How are you doing?” I sad as I greeted him.

“I am well,” he said looking at me from head to toe, clearly admiring my blue crisp Kaunda suit. “I am Mr Sande.”

“Are you the one with keys to my office?” he asked. “I also notice the padlock was changed.

“Yes I have key to that office but it is not your office,” I told him.

“It is my office,” he said and handed me a letter. It was from the County Director of Education. It was titled: REINSTATEMENT TO DUTIES. I told him that while I was happy to see him, the office now had a new owner and that he would have to sit with other teachers in the staffroom.

“But I am not an ordinary teacher,” he said. “You don’t expect me to sit in the staffroom. My letter clearly says I have been reinstated to my former duties.”

I stood my ground and told him that his place was in the staffroom, and immediately asked Electina, who designed the school timetable, to assign him some classes. I could sense reluctance in Electina’s eyes.

“I am off for the day,” he said. “I will come back tomorrow and I hope by then you will have vacated my office.” He then left.


That afternoon I tried to find out what had happened to his Carnal Knowledge case. The previous information we had was that there was a water-tight case against him. Indeed, it was not the first time Sande had been interdicted over related matters; so

everyone knew that Sande’s days as a teacher had come to a premature end. There was no better place to get this information than at Hitler’s.

I learnt that Mr Sande knew his away around TSC and all the rules like the back of his hand. That is why he had escaped two previous interdictions. First of all, the girl whom he was suspected to have an affair with disappeared from school last term.

She was last seen in school around October, just about the same time as Sande was interdicted.

From what I gathered, Sande went to the TSC officers for the case several times but the girl, who was his accuser, never showed up. The case could not begin without an accuser.

“That is a trick most teachers use when you have a major case at TSC,” Saphire, who has survived three interdictions, told me. “Without an accuser, the case can’t proceed and TSC has no option but to reinstate you.”

Saphire, who knew Sande’s case very well, told me that Mr Sande had covered his tracks well. “After he protested at the continual absence of the main accuser, TSC went looking for the girl. When the girl came, she was heavily pregnant, and everyone knew that that was the end of Mr Sande.”

“But the girl had an affidavit that exonerated Sande. She said that she had left school and got married to the father of the baby some three villages away,” said Saphire. “She added that she had been given money by one parent to falsely accuse Mr Sande.”

With this new information, Sande was let off the hook. But everyone who cared to check the story further knew that the girl was staying with a distant aunt, and that Mr Sande was taking care of her upkeep.

Indeed, Mr Sande had been seen with the girl’s parents on shopping sprees, and had allegedly bought a bicycle for the girl’s father.

And that is how Sande was reinstated and reported back to school last Wednesday. On Thursday, Sande did not report to school. I, on Friday, visited the County Education office but did not find anyone to

assist me.

Yesterday, Sande sent me an SMS telling me that he will report tomorrow and he expects me to be out of the office. “Ambia TSC wakurudishe kule walikuokota,”

I must say that, even with Xtash around, I honestly have not liked this school as the warmth of Saphire, the beauty of Nzomo, the calmness or Madam Ruth, the motherly nature of Mrs Atika, the cunning of

Kuya, the good heart of Anita, and the brains of Sella among others are missing here. Bensouda may be harsh, but the company of these great teachers makes up for this. Given an option, I would rather

return to Mwisho wa Lami. I am better of a deputy to a Headmistress than a nobody to a reinstated nobody!