BY GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA
PARENTS and School Development Committees (SDCs) in Chiredzi are up in arms with their district schools inspector, Petronella Nyangwe who they accuse of purchasing a $130 000 Toyota Land Cruiser, using levies from the Better Schools Programme in Zimbabwe (BSPZ), and personalising it.
According to Jonathan Muusha, Shingai Primary School SDC secretary-general, 189 schools were levied between $200 and $1 000 for the purchase of the vehicle, instead of prioritising construction of the BSPZ building, a resource centre for pupils.
“The DSI pleaded with all SDCs at a meeting held at Chiredzi High School that their vehicles had aged and could not be used to travel around the district. We accepted her proposal thinking that it was in good faith, but to our surprise the vehicle is now treated as personal property,” Muusha said.
Contacted for comment, Nyangwe said: “We have duties to monitor schools, supervise heads and teachers, and monitor programmes as well as developmental projects. We have 189 schools in Chiredzi of which 41 are secondary schools and 148 are primary school, and the furthest school is 260km away, along a dusty road which is very rough and we need a robust vehicle.”
“Sixty percent of the schools are in rural areas. In fact, only six of those schools are in Chiredzi urban and 22 are around Tongaat, the rest are rural. The other vehicle was bought in 1985. We took it in 2009 from our provincial scrap yard and we were helped to repair it by Plan International. The other Nissan NP300 is now old and no longer has the four-wheel drive.
“We are not the only ones who bought a vehicle. Bikita and Zaka have already bought Toyota D4Ds. Districts are buying vehicles using BSPZ funds. What benefits pupils is supervision than the resource centre. The resource centre will take us four to five years to complete. On the issue of who is supposed to buy the vehicle you can ask the provincial education director (PED) or the permanent secretary. I cannot explain that,” she said.
PED Zedius Chitiga said he will investigate the matter.
“I am travelling at the moment that is why the reception is bad, but I will definitely investigate that matter,” Chitiga said.
Primary and Secondary Education ministry secretary, Tumisang Thabela said she was not aware of the matter.
“I am in a meeting right now, but I am not aware of the matter. I will have to phone the province and check what is happening,” she said.