Zimra raid ZOU offices

Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) officials raided Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) offices yesterday as fresh corruption scandals rocked the distance-learning institution after it emerged vice-chancellor Primrose Kurasha and four senior managers allegedly gobbled close to $600 000, pampering themselves with gratuities despite the renewal of their contracts.

EVERSON MUSHAVA

The money was reportedly taken from student fees at a moment part-time lecturers, examination markers and service providers had not been paid.
ZOU employees have also reportedly gone for close to a year without receiving allowances.

Yesterday, ZOU director of communications Ndai Nyamakura could not comment on the issue, saying those in charge had already left.

However, NewsDay is reliably informed that Kurasha, whose contract expired and was given a new three-year new mandate by President Robert Mugabe in June last year, was paid $203 580 on March 7 this year, while Nefias Mututumari, the information and communication technology manager, was paid $83 000.

This was the second time the gratuities were paid after former finance director Perpetual Masvikeni Ndekwere was paid $83 000 on October 4 2012, together with the university registrar Daniel Ndudzo.

Pro vice-chancellor Gabriel Kabanda walked away with a whopping $103 000.

“There is no policy on gratuities at the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education. It is also not there in the ZOU Act. In cases where gratuities are given in other companies, the person should have left the organisation. What is also suspicious is that the gratuities were claimed long after the officials’ contracts had been renewed,” a senior official at the university said yesterday.

“There is no council resolution and ministry involvement to pay the gratuities. There was also no ZOU council resolution on the method of calculation or rates they used to calculate these amounts.”

Ndekwere’s contract expired in June 2012, while Ndudzo and Kabanda’s contracts expired in November the previous year.

The former ZOU finance boss is currently on bail after she was picked up by police detectives from the Criminal Investigation Department Serious Fraud Squad on March 17 and appeared in court the following day for allegedly double claiming $6 000 from the university.

“The VC nicodemously sought the signature of the council chairperson to authorise the payments,” the official claimed.

Zimbabwe Media Commission chief executive Tafataona Mahoso was the ZOU council chairman before Mugabe appointed Christopher Samkange last July.

“They did not remit PAYE, totalling to $118 000, on the amounts, prompting the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) to pick the anomaly during their tax investigations on ZOU,” the official said.

Seven Zimra officials yesterday swooped on the ZOU offices and raided Kurasha, acting finance director Garry Shoko and the human resources director Ernest Jaricha’s offices.

NewsDay could not establish the purpose of the raid, which was the second after a similar visit last Tuesday.

Kurasha and other managers were attending a strategic workshop in Harare last Tuesday, where Shoko was believed to have admitted the university was in the red, despite the huge claims by the managers.

The allegations were also contained in two petitions to Mugabe and the parent ministry by the workers last year.

ZOU has been in the media since 2010 over several corrupt activities reportedly perpetrated by Kurasha and Ndekwere.

These included allegedly prejudicing the parent ministry of about $700 000 in a staff medical insurance scam when the university overclaimed and did not pay back.

ZOU in 2011 also took a $3 million loan from a local bank to buy vehicles for managers and paid themselves hefty allowances, which among them, included several thousands of dollars for contact leaves that were never attended.

The university also has over five labour cases that have now been referred to the Supreme Court after they lost, but repeatedly appealed against judgment.

Three vehicles attached by the Deputy Sheriff two years ago over a labour case were rotting at an auctioneers’ premises.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission has also been probing illicit deals at the university.

22 Comments

    1. Tonderayi Chanakira

      Vamwe taka pasevenza pa ZOU tichingo shungudzwa NHASI ZVA PFUKA Mwari harisi benzi Mbavha ngadzisungwe. Asi yangu mari zvayo ndakaipuwha nda JAMUKA hezvo

  1. thats why companies do not recognise ZOU degrees

    1. zimbabwe ma1,hamusi moga veZOU idyaiwo..inguva yachoo..Musatya hapana anosungwa…..

    2. ammchre@nrz.co.zw

      This has nothing to do with the degrees offered by the instituition. we want people who are able to analyse issues than just make comments with a closed mind. You expose yourself with regards your own level of education. For heavens sake, what is your level of education and from which instituiition?

      Ngagumbuka kwazvo

  2. Siyahlupheka but we are the ones who are doing the teaching,marking etc.we have started a new academic season and we havent been paid our monies for last year.ZOU is a joke and i regret the day when i attended the interwiew to teach in this bogus ODL institution.The VC once received an award for best manager in the public sector?culture of corruption

    1. true, zou has to know that its existence is solely based on part timers whom they are abusing

  3. This is the norm in all state universities, this is not news, only that ZOU haigoni kupa majournalists mari dze doro, go to MSU munowana zvinokatyamadza asi Bhebhe anogona kuburitsa mari ye whisky ndosaka muchinyarara

  4. I do not understand why a leader would continue appointing people who have been implicated in corrupt activities unless he is also involved. In Russia allegations over corruption led to his suspension pending investigations. Zimbabweans, we are only weak and the so called resources will always belong to the elites and their families while Parliament makes a lot of noise without action. Hameno!

  5. I do not understand why a leader would continue appointing people who have been implicated in corrupt activities unless he is also involved. In Russia allegations over corruption led the minister of foreign affairs to be suspended pending investigations. In Uganda, ministers resigned over allegations of corruption, ours do not have a face or leadership is missing. Zimbabweans, we are only weak and the so called resources will always belong to the elites and their families while Parliament makes a lot of noise without action. Hameno!

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  7. True that, I also know of a greedy self centred scandalous Bursar at Lupane State University…Who is so evil that he think about himself. He wanted the university to buy deans Chevrolets yet he bought himself a Toyota Fortuner yet he is almost in the same grade with the deans. We know what he is doing hopefully he can stop his greedy.

    1. your name says it all …you are mad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. are we happy with these small fish catches, while the big fish are still swimming freely there. i wont be happy with that.

  9. I dont know how we are going to survive in the next future, the peoplple appointed by mugabe are corrupt and are given high profil dignty tha we fear to expose their evils. Some are awards for supressing people

    Let us pray to our God the Might to let this pass please please lets not hesitate to tell God our wishes nekuti hudzvanyiriri hwanyanya weduwe mugabe ndazvarwa achingotonga hama dzangu zhinji dzakafa zvekuti i am almost in a new generation rwuchingotonga munopaonawo sei

  10. Zimbabwe O Level University.Ndozviri ordinary,chimboitai.

  11. Prof & Cde Roparembwa

    munhu anyanya uyu

  12. haa zou mazino guys. thanks prof jonah moyo for giving journalists the power to publicise such issues. also publish the rates which part time tutors are getting against the fees paid by students. nxaaaaa its a shame

  13. All of this hypocrisy about “corruption” is being perpetrated by the UK and its Western allies. When the Western financial institutions ruined the global economy, where was the outrage? There is nothing wrong with corruption as it is a creative business strategy which Zimbabweans have excelled. The resources of Zimbabwe belong to ZANU-PF so if the resources are paid or received by ZANU-PF supporters, then there is nothing wrong with that. The West is just jealous that we are supreme and untouchable when it comes to corruption, and we are proud of it as Zimbabweans. Take your Western values and get out and stay out of Zimbabwe and leave our loving and peaceful country alone. We must stop all this nonsense about corruption as the public does not need to know about our creative business strategies. What we should be fighting are those filthy sanctions of the West (excluding our friends in Belgium and the EU) as Blair, Bush and Thatcher have never been held to account for their wicked economic sanctions. ZIMRA must stop listening to the West and start protecting our peaceful and loving ZANU-PF and stop looking into these silly corruption “revelations”.

    1. Tendai you are very stupid, even your child will disown you for saying such hurtful words, i wish i knew you personally and i would try by all means to kill you.

  14. jimminy cricket

    Tend ai good comment. I am joining the hears in the diaspora and hope to.never return due to clowns like you. As long as half wits like you are alive this country will die.

  15. jimminy cricket

    Tend ai good comment. I am joining the hears in the diaspora and hope to.never return due to clowns like you. As long as half wits like you are alive this country will die.

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