36 exam candidates stranded after college owner disappears with exam fees
THIRTY-SIX students who had registered for Ordinary Level examinations at a private college in Hwange are stranded after the school’s owner allegedly disappeared without registering them with the Zimbabwe School Examination Council.
Police confirmed receiving reports from 36 prospective candidates who lost a combined $2 379 in examination fees.
Ninety-two students were enrolled for Form Four at Shalom Christian Academy which rented premises at St Ignatius Roman Catholic Primary School in Hwange. Others were lucky as they registered at other centres.
Scores of pupils from Form One to Form Three are also reportedly stranded as teachers are no longer conducting lessons.
The 36 pupils were shocked when they were told they couldn’t write their exams from Monday because their statements of entry had not been received.
The owner of the school Mr Daylove Zvavamwe, 35, who is also its principal and his girlfriend Ms Florence Macheka, who was a clerk at the institution, have since disappeared, The Chronicle was told.
Mr Zvavamwe, was last year acquitted of rape charges at the Hwange regional court. He was being accused of raping and infecting a pupil with HIV.
Matabeleland North Acting police spokesperson Sergeant Namatirai Mashona said they were investigating the case.
She said the school was not registered and police were looking for Mr Zvavamwe and Ms Macheka.
“I can confirm that we’re investigating a case where 36 students paid for examinations and were prejudiced of $2 379. The school isn’t registered and the two suspects Zvavamwe and Macheka accepted and receipted money between February and May 2016 but didn’t remit it to the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council,” she said.
“Candidates didn’t receive their statements of entry and couldn’t write on October 24. Police are appealing to members of the public to supply information about the whereabouts of the two suspects. They can report to any police station or use police WhatsApp number +263 78 427 0800.”
Sgt Mashona urged members of the public to go to registered institutions.
The private college owner is alleged to have moved his children from Hwange to an unknown destination a few months after informing pupils that he had secured a scholarship to study abroad.
Sources said teachers phoned Ms Macheka on Monday and she claimed Mr Zvavamwe was in Malawi, while some sources said he fled to the United Kingdom.
“I’m bitter about this issue because we struggle to raise money for fees and somebody just squanders it. Teachers invited students to talk to them and we don’t know what will happen since our children won’t be able to write,” said an angry parent, Mr Steven Moyo, whose son was supposed to write five subjects.
Ms Agnes Khumalo said she paid $15 exam fees per subject in March.
Another student Ms Marylyn Tembo said she had registered for Mathematics which she desperately needed to pass as she wants to enrol at a college. “It looks like my world has crumbled,” she said. Teachers were also left stranded. On Monday acting headmaster Mr Lawrence Chihwii told students that there was nothing he could do to help them as only Mr Zvavamwe had all the answers to their questions.
The college has been operating in Hwange for more than five years and students registered with Shalom write from Hwange Government Secondary School, The Chronicle was told.
The majority of students at the school including conventional ones are repeating O-Level after failing on their first attempts elsewhere. — @ncubeleon.