Graft, nepotism allegations rock GZU

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GREAT ZIMBABWE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS

BY TATENDA CHITAGU

WORKERS at the Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) have petitioned the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) and Higher and Tertiary Education minister Amon Murwira over corruption and nepotism amid claims that over 50% of the university staff management is related.

The petition, dated 23 February, was copied to the Chief Secretary to the President’s Office and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Higher Education secretary Fanuel Tagwira.

“Unavoidably, the majority of the Great Zimbabwe University employees, constituting 65% thereof are related to the Vice-Chancellor (Rungano Jonas Zvobgo), Registrar (Sinikiwe Gwatidzo), and the Bursar (Andrias Chinyoka), being husbands and wives, sons and daughters-in-law, daughters and sons-in-law and their biological children,” the petition read in part.

“The rampant unprocedural recruitment is reflected in appointments of persons without requisite qualifications and without flighting adverts and conduct of interviews, all designed to secure posts for selected individuals and the classic examples to the many involve the circumstances of Kimberly Muchetwa and Takunda Tagwirei (and his wife Brenda Sedze).

“Kimberly Muchetwa, the girlfriend to the Vice-Chancellor’s son Takudzwa Zvobgo, was recruited as teaching assistant in the Faculty of Arts without an ‘O’ Level Pass in English, which she only obtained approximately four years later in 2018. Takunda Tagwirei, a cousin to the VC, was appointed as an administrative assistant in the Bursary Department and his wife, Brenda Sedze to the post of accounting assistant without having completed their respective studies, which can be confirmed by the corresponding institutions.”

Zvobgo and Murwirwa could not be reached for comment.

Zacc spokesperson John Makamure could neither confirm nor deny that his office had received the petition, saying he would check his records after the Easter and Independence holidays.

The petition adds: “Notwithstanding the express directive on posts freeze issued in 2014, the current management has defied the same and continued to recruit employees. Consequently, the lean and effective organogram in operation and in use at GZU prior to October 2012 and adopted from the University of Zimbabwe, was superseded and replaced by a top-heavy organogram by the current VC.”

The petitioners raised concern that a proposed staff rationalisation exercise would see outspoken workers and non-teaching staff being targeted, leaving the alleged top-heavy structure untouched.

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