- The pregnancies were timed in such a way to ensure that the colleagues would be out for maternity leave for the longest time. Most teachers proceed on maternity leave a few weeks after the start of the term. They would take maternity leave covering the rest of the term plus school holidays; and a few weeks into the next term.
When I said a few years ago that the husbands of my female colleagues are members of an association called Husbands of Mwisho wa Lami School Teachers (HoMWaT), many people did not believe me. That was in the year 2009, when about 70 per cent of our female colleagues went on maternity leave.
The pregnancies were timed in such a way to ensure that the colleagues would be out for maternity leave for the longest time. Most teachers proceed on maternity leave a few weeks after the start of the term. They would take maternity leave covering the rest of the term plus school holidays; and a few weeks into the next term.
I remember Madam Ruth, Madam Mary and Anita; they timed so expertly that in a year, they would only be actively available for two months. That could not be a coincidence, and I had reason to believe that their husbands were consulting through their association.
But we seem to be back to this. I am not convinced that what is happening is a coincidence. There is a deliberate plan to disrupt the school.
It all started late last term, but I didn’t really know what was happening then. As the time, Mrs Atika asked to see me, saying it was personal.
“Could you please change my classes to mid-morning?” she asked. “I can’t make it for early classes and late classes.”
“Why,” I asked her.
“I am in my first trimester and things are tough,” she said. “But I will be OK by the second trimester,”
I did not really understand what trimester was but clearly she meant semester.
“Congratulations!” I sad. “You joined which university? The first semester is always hard for any student,” I added.
She smiled, then said: “You will soon know.”
A few weeks later, Madam Ruth also asked to see me. Before that, I had noted she seemed sick in the mornings, but would be well later in the day. When I had asked her, she just laughed off saying that she would be ok soon.
“I am pregnant and the first few months are hell on earth,” she said. “I need a few days off.”
Since Catherina was still around, I talked to her and asked her if we could allow Madam Ruth a few days off.
“It is OK but I will have a session with the female teachers and talk to them,” she said. “We can’t afford to have all of them pregnant at the same time.”
“Kwani who else is pregnant?” I asked, as only Madam Ruth had talked to me.
It was noticeable for Mrs Atika, who had told me last term that her first semester was tough. She has big children, last born is in class eight.
Madam Ruth too was now visibly pregnant, and would be going for maternity leave soon.
“I am now almost six months,” she said.
“That will also be my time,” said Mrs Atika. “Looks like we will be away at the same time.”
“When are you due?” asked Madam Ruth.
“September, just like you.” she said.
That Tuesday afternoon, I told Bensouda of the impending crisis in third term once three teachers go on maternity leave.
“They are not just three,” she said. “There is a fourth one and there could be a fifth.”
“Sella told me last week that she is expecting and that her doctor told her it’s a problematic pregnancy so she will be in and out of school for the next eight months before she goes on maternity leave.”
“And did you say there is a fifth?” I asked her.
“I didn’t say there is a fifth,” she answered. “But I have been observing what is happening between Kuya and Nzomo. I won’t be surprised if Nzomo become heavy soon.”
“So what will we do in third term?” I asked her.
“Don’t worry Dre, we will find away,” she reassured.
She then added. “And you, what is happening? Five years with Fiolina and there are no results. Is there a problem?” she asked. “We can help.”
“There is no problem,” I said then quickly left her office.