SELF-STYLED war veteran Andrew Matambanadzo, who runs Emmanuel Andrews College in Harare, last week threatened to shoot a Zimbabwe Independent reporter and close down the paper if it carried a s
tory alleging mismanagement at the college.
Matambanadzo, whose war credentials could not be established, said he would shoot the reporter, Shakeman Mugari, and use his political muscle to close the Independent if it carried a story about his college.
The threats were made after Mugari called Matambanadzo to verify allegations of victimisation and mismanagement raised by students, lecturers and tenants at the college.
“I will shoot you. I can just shoot you. Your paper will close. Unoziva zvakaitika kuDaily News (You know what happened to the Daily News),” said an angry Matambanadzo.
“I am a war vet. Your paper can suffer and you can die,” he warned before slamming down the phone.
Mugari made a report to the police.
Matambanadzo is alleged to be using his war-veteran claims to bully students, lecturers and tenants at the college. Students and lecturers have alleged ill-treatment at the hands of Matambanadzo who they say is running the college like a “backyard business”.
“Lecturers are grossly under-paid and if you complain he kicks you out,” said a lecturer who came to the Independent’s offices on Monday last week. Matambanadzo allegedly lets out rooms on the college premises.
It is in dealing with tenants in these rooms that Matambanadzo is said to be exercising his iron hand most. He is alleged to have manhandled some tenants who were in arrears with their rents.
“He is rough with tenants,” said the lecturer who spoke to the Independent. “The college has a shortage of lecturers. The few who are there are never paid on time. The sanitary facilities are in a sorry state.”
A senior college official confirmed that there were problems at the college.
“Problems are found in each and every institution. We are rectifying the situation. The situation in improving,” said the official.