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Gutu headmasters jailed for stealing fees

By Correspondent

TWO Zimbabwean primary school headmasters have been jailed for stealing school levies and tution fees worth more than $7 000.00, it has been reported.

Gift Manyoni of Hamandishe Primary School and Eliphas Chikonye of Matombo Primary School both from Gutu have been jailed for fraud involving levies and tuition fees as Government intensifies its blitz on corrupt school authorities.

Manyoni was slapped with two years in jail while Chikonye  will serve 18 months for abusing school funds.

Meanwhile Claudious Munyikwa of Batanai Primary School is awaiting sentence for a similar offence. The headmasters recently appeared before Gutu magistrate Nyasha Vhitorini.

Manyoni misused US$6 736 paid by schools for the Better Schools Programme in Zimbabwe. He would give schools original receipts with the correct amount of money and write lower figures on the carbon copy.

Chikonye diverted US$1 010 from the school account to his personal use.

He later deposited the money back into the school account after the School Development Committee had demanded a bank statement.

Munyikwa withdrew US$1 100 at ZB bank in Gutu meant for textbooks and teachers’ incentives. He later went and borrowed the books from College Press instead of paying cash. The headmasters were arrested separately during a probe by Government into school accounts that is being carried by several auditors countrywide. More than seven headmasters have been jailed since the blitz started last month, but the figure is likely to increase as Government said it would release all the names after the completion of the national audit.

Education, Sport, Arts and Culture deputy minister Lazarus Dokora yesterday said indications were that many anomalies would be unearthed in the audits.

“The results we are getting are vindicating the suspicion by parents that there is abuse of public funds. There are no plans to stop the audits soon until we weed out corruption in the schools,” he said. Harare provincial education director Mr Calvin Mazula said they had held financial management meetings with the school headmasters and bursars to counter future problems.

Other school heads, who misused school funds, are reportedly leaving their workstations in a huff fearing arrests. Most school officials loot funds by generating invoices with inflated prices of goods and learning materials they buy.