BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
THE Primary and Secondary Education ministry-appointed commission probing the purchase of a defective bus by Lukanyiso Primary School in Mpopoma, Bulawayo, two years ago has ordered that the controversial vehicle be taken back to its manufacturers.
The purchase of the defective bus at a cost of $121 000 has been a source of conflict between the school and the ministry after parents rejected it when it developed mechanical faults upon delivery.
The bus was sourced from Harare’s Willowvale Vehicle Body Engineering in collaboration with Deven Engineering. Reports have shown that the bus was not new, but
a repainted old vehicle, forcing parents to demand an inquiry.
The matter was reported to the police and was also later reported to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, while meetings between provincial education
officers, the bus manufacturer, parents and the school development committee to find a solution to the crisis have not yielded results.
In a latest development, a commission chaired by Albert Chikaka, which was appointed by the Primary and Secondary Education ministry and parents to probe the
bus issue has ordered that it be immediately returned.
“After the findings of the commission, we have resolved that the bus be returned to the manufacturer with immediate effect. We have since notified the ministry
and other stakeholders of its condition and the conflict involved. So, we are expecting that by now the bus should be in Harare,” Chikaka said in an interview.
It is understood that an audit into the purchase of the bus was once instituted by the Education ministry, but the final report has been kept under wraps under
unclear circumstances, a development that infuriated parents and guardians, who have been at the forefront in pushing for an audit.
The parents have on several occasions written to the Primary and Secondary Education ministry provincial officials to institute the probe, demanding answers
and compensation for the purchase of a defective bus.