LSU probed over alleged corruption

Zacc spokesperson Thandiwe Mlobane said the commission was still investigating the reports.

THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) is still investigating reports of nepotism and corruption levelled against Lupane State University (LSU) authorities since last year.

LSU, which is based in Matabeleland North, has been rocked by corruption scandals involving its management and other senior officials.

Insiders said most of the corrupt activities involved tender splitting for identified individuals and companies in return for bribes.

In 2018, Forkpress civil engineering firm won a tender for the construction of two prefabricated classroom blocks, but the company delivered wrong material that was  not specified in tender documents.

“The committee refused to accept such material and instructed Forkpress to construct a temporary toilet so that they could inspect the durability of the material,” insiders said.

Forkpress went on to build one block using the wrong material.

"The blocks were never inspected and certified for occupation,” sources said.

LSU is accused of not following tender procedures.

"Construction works ranging between $10 million and $14 million are done without any bill of quantity, no plans, no contract and no competitive bidding is done," another insider said.

Sources said the university procurement management bypasses LSU’s physical works and estates department to engage contractors of their choice for civil engineering works despite having no knowledge of the trade.

They said since 2019, the university has not flighted any tender, but goods and services worth hundreds of millions of dollars have been procured.

They said a faculty of engineering science was created against the advice of the parent ministry.

"The selection of lecturers and recruitment was done in Chinhoyi and the recruited lecturers spent two years earning salaries and benefits in US dollars without students to teach," a source said.

"Even the construction of sub-standard prefab is meant to denigrate the appointing authority.

“This is meant to ensure that LSU remains a tower of affliction and curse for the local community.”

Zacc spokesperson Thandiwe Mlobane said the commission was still investigating the reports.

"I can confirm that the commission received the report on allegations of corruption at LSU and that the matter is under investigation," Mlobane said.

LSU spokesperson Zwelithini Dlamini declined to comment on the matter.

"I am advised that it is prejudicial to comment on this issue since it is now before Zacc,” Dlamini said.

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