BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
GOVERNMENT has initiated a probe into an alleged case of corruption against authorities at Lukanyiso Primary School in Mpopoma, Bulawayo, who face charges of abusing money after purchasing a “defective” second-hand bus from Harare.
Parents at the primary school raised a stink after the bus, purchased at a cost of $121 000, developed prolonged mechanical faults upon delivery last year, with investigations showing it was a re-painted old vehicle.
The parents have since been pushing for an audit amid indications that the Schools Development Committee (SDC) was to blame for the fiasco.
The parents, on several occasions, wrote to the Primary and Secondary Education ministry’s provincial officials, requesting that they institute the probe, demanding answers and compensation.
It is understood that an audit has been instituted by the ministry, but the final report has been kept under wraps, a development that has infuriated parents and guardians.
According to minutes of one SDC meeting held recently, “ . . . the meeting, however, did not progress after the issue of the bus again took centre stage.
“The second meeting held two weeks ago was again cancelled after the parents demanded to see the audit report. The third meeting was also cancelled after the headmaster and deputy head clashed over in whose possession the audit report was.”
Provincial education director Olicah Kaira confirmed an investigation into the issue had been finalised, but did not indicate when the audit report would be released.
“An audit is classified information which cannot be dished to everyone just like that. It must have approval from the permanent secretary,” Kaira said, adding: “The parents are using the wrong channel; there is a channel that should be followed. In this case they should approach the district schools inspector.”
The matter was last year reported to the police and was later also reported to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission. The SDC has, on several occasions, clashed with parents
and guardians over alleged misuse of school funds.