Furore As School Authorities Are Accused of Asset Stripping

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By Tonderai Saharo

THE School Development Committee (SDC) at Mpandawana High School in Gutu are being accused of taking advantage of the Covid 19 induced schools closure to  strip its assts and pocketing over $900 000 in the process. understands that all of the school’s income generating projects were dispossed of without consultation or  following due procedures for the benefit of  a few SDC  members.
Sources at the school said Mpandawana High School  was running  flourishing income generating projects which included  piggery, poultry,  rabbits rearing,  ducks and  fishery projects which have since all crumpled under unclear circumstances.
“The school  was running some projects.They had a piggery project , rearing egg laying chickens, fish farming project, rabbit rearing, ducks etc. A few members of the SDC  decided to dispose them saying they were no longer able to continue with the projects saying they are  facing financial challenges, as schools were closed due to Covid 19,” a source said.
“The SDC met and decided to sell among them on credit  most of them never paid a single cent and the prices was not economically viable. They never consulted the parents,” said the source.
The SDC is now accused of breaching  the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act ( Chapter 22:23) which stipulates that the procuring entity shall not dispose of an unserviceable , obsolete or surplus asset to any of it’s employees or to a member of it’s board or an of its committee.
“The procuring entity in this case is the school. I am made to understand that a decision was made concerning the  disposal some of school assets because the assets had become unserviceable due to non payment of fees as a result of schools closure amidst the Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdown. Some SDC members and some school officials then unprocedurally, unlawfully and with corrupt intentions decided to strip off the school of its  valuable assets,” a disgruntled parent said.
Sources further indicated that he stripping of the school’s assets is just a tip of an ice berg as there is also issues of improper tendering where by SDC members give themselves jobs at the school.
“The chairperson is the one supplying materials to the school from her hardware shop and the vice chair has been painting the school,” sources said.
SDC Chairperson Euphrasia Chamwaita said she will only discuss the issue  after the committee’s Annual General Meeting, while the school headmistress Kundai Kufa refused to comment.