A government-appointed probe team descended on Plumtree High School last week to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration by the institution’s authorities, NewsDay can reveal.
The investigations followed reports of alleged financial mismanagement involving $80 000 meant for the purchase of a generator and reports that the institution had accumulated a debt of $60 000.
Parents accused the School Development Association (SDA) chaired by Elson Shava and the headmaster, Prince Mange, of being at the centre of the problems at the school.
Matabeleland South deputy education director Samuel Silume told NewsDay yesterday the auditors had visited the school, but had not disclosed their findings.
“Our delegation went to investigate the school and we are yet to get a report-back of their findings,” said Silume. The probe team, led by the acting provincial deputy director for secondary schools, Fransis Changwesha, spent five days at the school, from November 27 to December 1, carrying out the investigations.
They interviewed Mange, Shava, parents and school workers’ representative, Trymore Mpofu.
“We told the investigators all that is happening here,” said a parent at the school.
“Just imagine about 350 parents were made to fork out $150 each for the purchase of a school generator, but there is still no generator and the money is also not there. Parents contributed over $80 000 towards that and we just lost out.”
Parents recently clashed with school authorities after the latter failed to explain why the institution had accumulated a $60 000 debt for water and electricity,.
On October 8, they confronted Mange and Shava and nearly beat them up after water supplies to the school were cut off over a
$15 000 debt.
The disgruntled parents later confronted Education minister David Coltart over the matter.
Parents said after Coltart’s intervention a donor chipped in and settled part of the debt while the school paid the remainder.
The parent said the school reportedly owed Zesa about $45 000. The school has an enrolment of about 350 pupils who pay a levy of $485 and $160 tuition fees each.