1,697 schools au­dited: Dokora

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Pamela Shumba @pame­lashumba1

THE Min­istry of Pri­mary and Se­condary Ed­u­ca­tion has au­dited 1,697 schools since the de­ploy­ment of au­di­tors to as­sess fi­nan­cial records and weed out cor­rupt school of­fi­cials last year.

Re­spond­ing to ques­tions in Par­lia­ment on Wed­nes­day, Pri­mary and Se­condary Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Lazarus Dokora said the min­istry in­ves­ti­gated schools where there were al­le­ga­tions of abuse of funds by heads.

“Is­sues to deal with fi­nan­cial man­age­ment in schools are mat­ters of con­cern to the Min­istry. For this rea­son, we in­sti­tuted an au­dit of our schools in or­der to bring trans­parency in the use of funds that are col­lected at school level.

“In 2015, the Min­istry man­aged to au­dit 1,697 schools. In some cases, there were re­ports of abuse of school funds by heads of schools. As a mat­ter of fact, where there were al­le­ga­tions of abuse of funds, thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tions were car­ried out,” said Min­is­ter Dokora.

Asked what mea­sures were be­ing taken by the Min­istry to bring to book school heads who were im­pli­cated in the re­cent au­dits, Min­is­ter Dokora said the schools au­thor­i­ties were given a chance to re­spond be­fore the Min­istry takes fur­ther steps.

He did not spec­ify what the steps en­tailed.

Glen No­rah MP Web­ster Maon­dera gave an ex­am­ple of Ru­vheneko Pri­mary School in Glen No­rah, Harare, where the school au­thor­i­ties were re­cently im­pli­cated in abuse of funds.

“With re­spect to Ru­vheneko Pri­mary School, an au­dit was car­ried out and the ini­tial re­port in­di­cated that there were some ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the han­dling of funds. The con­cerned head, as pro­ce­dural, is given an op­por­tu­nity to re­spond,” said Min­is­ter Dokora.

Last month, Min­is­ter Dokora re­vealed that his Min­istry had or­dered a coun­try­wide schools au­dit to as­sess the fi­nan­cial records of at least 80 per­cent of 8,179 schools in the coun­try be­fore the year ends.

He said the ex­er­cise was meant to weed out cor­rup­tion and cre­ate trans­parency in the ad­min­is­tra­tion of school de­vel­op­ment funds.

He said the Gov­ern­ment or­dered au­dits of school funds as head­mas­ters, bur­sars and School De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tions were in the habit of dip­ping into school cof­fers.

Au­dit re­ports have shown that more than $1,2 bil­lion in de­vel­op­ment levies is cir­cu­lat­ing in Gov­ern­ment and mis­sion schools and a chunk of it is be­ing abused by heads and bur­sars.

The au­dit re­ports also re­vealed that some school au­thor­i­ties have been du­pli­cat­ing re­ceipt books as cover to lay their hands on de­vel­op­ment funds.

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