Mangwe schools defy Govt

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Sukul­wenkosi Dube-Matutu Plumtree Cor­re­spon­dent

MORE schools in Mangwe District are de­fy­ing a Gov­ern­ment di­rec­tive by en­gag­ing debt col­lec­tors to force par­ents to pay school fees.

Sanzukwi Se­condary School has now taken this route af­ter Bhulu Pri­mary and Kwe­neng Pri­mary Schools.

Sanzukwi Se­condary School de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee chair­per­son Mrs Wil­freda Ncube said the debt col­lec­tors were mov­ing around vil­lages is­su­ing de­fault­ing par­ents with fi­nal no­tices.

“The debt col­lec­tors haven’t started at­tach­ing prop­er­ties as yet but they have is­sued par­ents with let­ters that in­di­cate that they have to pay an ad­di­tional 30 per­cent of the money they owe.

“We de­cided to en­gage debt col­lec­tors af­ter re­al­is­ing that a num­ber of par­ents were not forth­com­ing in pay­ing school fees. The debt col­lec­tors are housed at Sanzukwi Se­condary School,” she said.

Mrs Ncube said the school re­cently held a gen­eral meet­ing and it was agreed to en­gage debt col­lec­tors.

She said tra­di­tional lead­ers from the area ap­proved the de­ci­sion and school au­thor­i­ties agreed prop­er­ties would be at­tached in order to re­cover monies owed.

Mrs Ncube said some of the debts em­anated from school fees that re­mained un­paid since 2012.

Mean­while, Sanzukwi Pri­mary School de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee chair­per­son, Mrs Siphilile Ncube, said a mes­sen­ger of court had is­sued par­ents with fi­nal no­tices to clear school fees ar­rears.

She said if par­ents do not com­ply, the school would ap­proach the court to at­tach prop­erty in a bid to re­cover un­paid fees.

The coun­cil­lor of Mpho­engs area, Mr Nor­man Tshuma, said par­ents were dis­grun­tled by the move.

“Par­ents are dis­grun­tled that schools are tak­ing the le­gal route es­pe­cially Sanzukwi Se­condary which has en­gaged debt col­lec­tors who are now charg­ing ex­tra.

“Vil­lagers are now liv­ing in fear of los­ing their prop­er­ties as the debt col­lec­tors have threat­ened to at­tach them.

“There have been in­ci­dences in the past where bo­gus in­di­vid­u­als have col­lected money from vil­lagers un­der the pre­text of be­ing sent by schools,” he said.

The Min­is­ter of Pri­mary and Se­condary Ed­u­ca­tion, Dr Lazarus Dokora, has pre­vi­ously said if schools de­cided to take the le­gal route to col­lect out­stand­ing fees, they had to ap­proach the Small Claims Court and not debt col­lec­tors. — @DubeMatutu

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