Govt officials refuse to testify against bogus school

The case of Netsai Makamure, who allegedly operates an unregistered Marondera school that received more than
$20 000 from the government through the War Veterans ministry, failed to kick off after two Primary and Secondary Education ministry officials refused to testify.

BY Jairos Saunyama

Government, through the War Veterans ministry, reportedly transferred thousands of dollars into Beautiful Beginners Group of Schools, an illegal learning institution operating in Marondera’s bank account.

A number of war veterans’ children are reportedly enrolled at the institution.

The matter was reported to Marondera Central Police under case number CR117/5/16.

However, the case failed to commence after education officers dealing with the matter – Joseph Mangwiro (55) and Nicodemus Karuma (56) – refused to testify in court, citing influence from “high offices”.

According to a paper signed at Marondera Central Police Station by Karuma, gleaned by this paper, he withdrew from testifying after receiving an order not to testify.

“I am no longer interested in representing the State because the process of registration is now at an advanced stage. The district education officer (Marondera) has already recommended for the establishment of the school.

“The school is also being recommended from other higher offices for it to be established in terms of the Education Act,” he wrote.

NewsDay has it on good authority that the education officers have been threatened by political bigwigs, who want the school to continue operating.

According to documents gleaned by this paper, on May 5, 2016, the War Veterans ministry deposited $21 900 into the institution’s ZB Bank account.

The Government has since confirmed that Beautiful Beginners registered as an early child development centre only in 2013 and has been operating an illegal primary and secondary boarding school.

NewsDay also established that the institution rents house number 19 Marondera Crescent in Winston Park, which it uses as a boarding facility. Children are ferried from the house to the school.

The school offers boarding facilities to primary school pupils and Form 1 students only.

According to court papers, on May 20 this year, Karuma received a tip-off that Makamure was operating an unregistered school at Stand Number 59 Detroit Crescent, Longlands Industrial Site in Marondera. On June 6, police officers conducted a search at the school and it was established that the accused person was operating a Grade 2 class comprising of 10 children and a Grade 3 class, with 15 pupils, without a licence.

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